PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Eagles beat Romania 27-17 (highlights here) in Bucharest in a match that might be summed up by Mike Petri’s drop goal. When I saw the replay of Petri taking half a step back from a ruck and then calmly slotting it over, I thought, “Huh. That’s an unexpected bonus.”
In a game that the Americans conceded a penalty try from a scrum and lost several of their own lineouts (Why did you shave, Phil Thiel?)
and failed to cleanly claim the ball from restarts on more than one occasion, they still won by 10. “Huh. Bonus.”
The Eagles were weak where expected–at scrum time–and strong where hoped for–the back three. Takudwza Ngwenya scored the first try, which he made look easy as he burst through a small hole in The Oaks defense. Tim Stanfill also scored in the first half. In the second half, Folau Niua threw a great dummy which left some poor Romanian without his socks and then barrelled over in the corner.
Matt Trouville, earning his first cap, did what he was supposed to do at the base of a backward-moving scrum. The Eagles were moving backward, but maintained possession on several dodgy-looking scrums.
Adam Siddall made three conversions and a penalty, and not one of the conversions was easy. His kicking from hand was mixed, though he was getting good distance on the kicks, even those that did not find space or touch.
In defense, Andrew Suniula put in a good game and turned several choke tackles into mauls into US scrums. Apart from the penalty try, Daniel Carpo scored for the Romanians as Seamus Kelly and Mate Moeakiola walked backward with him, trying to hold him up. It was not Kelly’s finest moment or his finest match.
After the All Blacks event, what the Eagles needed to do was win. And they did. Next up for the Eagles is a Tonga team that easily defeated Georgia this weekend with a strong second half. The match will be in Gloucester, England. Scott LaValla will be available, as will Thretton Palamo who started for Saracens last weekend in the LV=Cup.
That’s it for now. Feel free to comment below, please look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@:RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Jaime Loyd, DJ Eberle, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.