Thursday, November 18, 2010

Scotland A vs USA - Preview


Scotland A will host the USA Eagles tommorrow evening in Galshiells in what is the third matches of four for the North Americans this month. EaglesXV spoke to USA National coach Eddie O’Sullivan this week with Dallen Stanford of http://www.eaglesxv.com/ . He commented on last week’s 22-17 win over Portugal: “I was happy with the way we kept our intensity and closed out the game even though Portugal kept coming back at us for the whole 80 minutes. Scotland ‘A’ will be an entirely different type of challenge: “We have to become more accurate in executing our systems this week and retain our intensity.”

O'Sullivan confirmed injury woes for the Unites States : ”John van der Giessen has left camp and returned to bath with a fracture to his cheekbone. He will require surgery and will be out for 4-6 weeks. Samu Manoa is making good progress rehabbing his thigh strain and is expected to be available for Friday's game. All other players have been passed fit.” said the National coach.

Scotland have named a strong team for the match which among other notable players includes Al Kellock who captained Scotland on thier tour of Argentina this year. The USA side includes 13 changes from the side that defeated Portugal as O'Sullivan looks to experiment as Rugby World Cup 2011 looms. The side will be led by Mike Petri at scrumhalf as he looks to lead a backline featuring only one other professional player. Despite so many changes eleven players were in the starting side that faced Saracens earlier in the tour. Some interesting selections include Paul Emerick at centre which further suggests that Seta Tuilevuka has over taken him to become the first choice Eagles 13.

Prediction: Scotland will field a strong team that on paper should be too strong for the USA Eagles who are entering the game with a side far from being ther countries best team. The Scots look the better side in the forwards but have a back three who are struggling to get game time this season in the Magners League. The USA should match the Scots in the centres and could well have a better 9-10 combination. If the visitors are able to capitalize on this potential advantage they should be victorious. Scotland, though, will have a huge advantage at scrumtime with a great front five. Scotland to win by 5 points or less.

Scotland
15 Jim Thompson
14 Joe Ansbro
13 Ben Cairns
12 Alex Grove
11 Lee Jones
10 David Blair
9 Mark McMillan
8 Stuart McInally
7 Roddy Grant
6 Rob Harley
5 Al Kellock *Captain
4 Fraser McKenzie
3 Geoff Cross
2 Scott Lawson
1 Jon Welsh

Reserves
16 Steven Lawrie
17 Kyle Traynor
18 Tom Ryder
19 David Denton
20 Henry Pyrgos
21 Duncan Weir
22 Jack Cuthbert

USA Eagles

1. Eric Fry (Unattached)
2. Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate)
3. Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie, England)
4. Samu Manoa (San Francisco Golden Gate)
5. Hayden Smith (Saracens, England)
6. Scott LaValla (Dublin University, Ireland)
7. Pat Danahy (Life University)
8. JJ Gagiano (Eastern Province Kings, South Africa)
9. Mike Petri (Sale, England) *Captain
10. Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
11. Zack Test (Loughborough University)
12. Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins)
13. Paul Emerick (Ulster, Ireland)
14. Alipate Tuilevuka (Old Puget Sound Beach)
15. Colin Hawley (Unattached)

Reserves
16. Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93, France)
17. Phil Thiel (Life University)
18. Louis Stanfill (Mogliano, Italy)
19. TBD
20. Tim Usasz (Nottingham, England)
21. Nese Malifa (Glendale Raptors)
22. Chris Wyles (Saracens, England)

With Thanks www.eaglesxv.com

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