Saturday, June 4, 2011

USA vs Uruguay 2008

The USA Eagles played host to Los Teros of Uruguay in a one off international match in Sandy, Utah in November 2008. The match was held one year before the Rugby World Cup Qualifyers between the two countries and featured a number of players who would go on to feature in the qualifying matches and indeed wil feature at New Zealand 2011. First choice secondrower, Hayden Smith and hooker Shawn Pitman both debuted as did backrower JJ Gagiano and centre Junior Sifa. All four players are expected to make the Eagles squad for Rugby World Cup 2011.

Played in the greater region of Salt Lake City the game attracted a positive crowd of over 5,000 fans at the Rio Tinto Stadium. The match was played in cold conditions, but with plenty of sun. The two contrasting styles of play were highly evident in this match with Uruguay opting to play a tight game and kick for the corners. The USA, in contrast, were playing running rugby and sometimes being too impatient and as such let themselves down with basic errors while trying to off-load in tackles to keep the ball alive. After a tight first half in which Uruguay led 9-8 the game changed drastically with the USA Eagles dominating Los Teros after the interval.

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