Friday, December 14, 2012

Retro Friday - Kevin Dalzell try v Ireland

The United States of America did not have its best Rugby World Cup campaign in 1999. It had a difficult draw which included Australia, Ireland and Romania. Its only winnable match was against Romania and the USA was unlucky to lose against the Eastern Europeans. The USA has since got revenge with the USA winning all other matches, most recently in November 2012. The USA´s massive 34-3 victory underlined just how much progress the North American team has come. While Romania continues to have a solid set of forwards, the USA has been able to develop some very good backs with the likes of Chris Wyles and Taku Ngwenya being regulars for Saracens and Biarritz. 

Rugby World Cup 1999 was the last tournament of its kind. While it was played in the professional era it was very much an amateur tournament with Wales hosting the event but having England, France, Ireland and Scotland all act as subhosts. Not only did they all host one pool each but they all hosted knock-out matches. The USA´s matches were all played in Ireland which made the assignment of a Tier Two side facing a Tier One side that much tougher. Ireland was far too strong for the USA in 1999 as it won 53-8. The only try scored by the visitors was nonetheless interesting. It came from an Irish mistake after Conor O´Shea lost control of the ball in a big two-man tackle from Brian Hightower and Juan Grobler. Scrumhalf Kevin Dalzell was on hand to recieve the fumble and took full advantage as he ran forty metres to score. Dalzell played 42 tests for the USA from 1996-2003. 

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