While the USA were defeated by a big margin the 67-5 loss was smaller than what it would have been in previous World Cup´s. The second tier proved it had closed the gap on the first and there was plenty of reason to believe that it could be closed even more by giving the easier match schedules to the likes of Canada, Fiji, Georgia, Japan, Romania, Russia Samoa, Tonga and the USA. If these sides were to have sufficient trime between each match to always be able to field their best players then the chances of a superior contest would certainly be amplified.
The USA fielded an entirely different backline to that which had been used in its two previous matches as well as the one which would face Italy. It was a similar story in the forwards with the first choice player starting being secondrower Hayden Smith.The big name USA players such as Todd Clever, Paul Emerick, Mike Petri, Taku Ngwenya, Lou Stanfill and Chris Wyles had all been left out. Aside from Hayden Smith, the USA was still able to field two players from big name clubs with Stade Français´ Scott LaValla starting in the secondrow and Agen´ Kevin Swiryn playing on the left wing. It was not enough however, not to face an Australian team packed with world class players with the likes of Kurtley Beale, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Rocky Elsom and Nathan Sharpe all starting.
|JJ Gagiano en route to the try line|