VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Eagles Select XV handled Uruguay A 30-5 at Westhills Stadium. The Americans kept the pressure on Uruguay throughout and the scoreline could have been even more unbalanced. It was only 8-0 at half.
The good news is that America looks to be adding to already strong positions.
Zack Test’s hop-step looked electric. Folau Niua looked confident from the start and had some strong runs. Ben Pinkleman showed good pace and footwork. Andrew Durutalo, other than his knock on in the try zone, had a strong game. John Cullen and Graham Harriman played well, with Harriman popping up in useful places in open play. Tim Stanfill showed a knack for finishing, and Troy Hall showed good pace on the outside.
Niua and Test might get onto the field against the All Blacks, but the rest will likely have to wait for their next chance for a full cap. The areas of need–front row and half backs–were, essentially, the Eagles’ starters. Although the Uruguay scrum was strong, the Americans only gave up one penalty at scrum time.
Olive Kilifi had two particularly strong runs, although both of them ended up in turnovers.
There were certainly times when the Selects looked to be searching for a game plan in attack.
The Selects lineout was good at times. There was a lineout to the US that they won and then mauled the ball upfield about 10 meters. However, when the maul stalled, John Cullen turned and popped a pass to Adam Siddall. In that weak pop pass, momentum was lost. Later, the US won a 5 meter lineout and then the ball was dropped.
Still, the Americans did the job tonight, and their two wins from the tournament is enough to consider it a success.
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.