All Blacks v. USA and the scoring began in the third minute after the All Blacks kicked off the match to a raucous 61,500 fans.

All Blacks showcase world-class rugby but USA Eagles should hold their heads high…

All Blacks v. The Eagles 74-6Via usarugby.org CHICAGO – For many Americans unfamiliar with the power and skill of the All Blacks may be difficult to comprehend that the USA Eagles did not actually disgrace themselves in their 74-6 loss to the world champions.

However, many top rugby teams, ranked much higher in the current Rugby echelon the the 18th ranked USA Eagles, have felt the same sting of defeat and the same stunned incomprehension at the all Blacks ability to counter attack and score swiftly after appearing to be under pressure and close to conceding points.

This devastating ability was on full display at Soldier Field on November 1st. The USA Eagles haven’t played against the All Blacks in decades and their lack of familiarity with the All-Black style of play certainly contributed to their inability to counter the All-Black’s tactics. However, the USA Eagles rugby team can hold their heads high because they played with pride and gusto and displayed plenty of skills that bode well for their future success.

Regular matches against quality Rugby sides from around the world is essential if USA Rugby teams are to achieve parity with the best. This is indeed possible if sports fans in the USA get behind the Eagles and really support them.

MATCH REPORT: All Blacks v. USA and the scoring began in the third minute after the All Blacks kicked off the match to a raucous 61,500 fans…

Despite the energy and excitement, the Eagles were unable to keep up with the speed and efficiency of the All Blacks. Nathan Harris finished off one of the visitors’ first attacks in the corner. World Cup Final referee Craig Joubert asked the T.M.O. for a second look as the corner flag was knocked off of its moorings, but the try was indisputable.

Aaron Cruden’s conversion from the touch line sailed wide, but he was allowed to take another due to the Eagles jumping off of the line early. Without pressure, the Cruden missed the second opportunity.

The Eagles did not let the early setback phase them and immediately worked to move down the pitch. After a few phases inside their opponents’ 22, the All Blacks committed a penalty, giving captain Todd Clever an important decision: gamble on open play or take the easy bet on Adam Siddall’s boot. Three points are better than a zero-point option, and Siddall rewarded his captain’s trust with a successful penalty kick to bring the score to 5-3.

Scott Lavalla knocked the restart back to a teammate a minute later to keep the All Blacks away from the try zone.

The leading team found a way to regain possession, however. Siddall and Phil Thiel combined for a big hit at midfield, but the All Blacks were able to move the ball wide to Israel Dagg, who offloaded to Cory Jane on the touch line. The winger dummied a pass to the inside to gain the extra step needed to fend Blaine Scully – the final defender – to dot down in the corner. Cruden extended the lead to 12-5 with a successful conversion.

Scully caught the ball from the restart in full stride and was supported by three teammates, drawing a penalty in the process. Siddall stepped up to kick his second penalty and nailed it to keep the Eagles within a converted try at 12-6 18 minutes into the match. Lavalla made sure the Eagles started with the ball from the restart, but Siddall was forced to… Read more>