Monday, November 25, 2013

Russia v USA November 2013 - Full Match

Photo The Guardian: The USA defeated Russia 28-7 on Saturday
On Saturday afternoon two of the planet´s most famous countries went head-to-head in an international rugby match. Due to Russia lacking the ability of hosting test rugby the match was played in London which there-by saw the two teams play a test rugby in the U.K. for the second consecutive year. 

To add to the frustration of playing an international match at a neutral venue the authorities failed to provide coverage of the match as viewers were left to use their imagination via twitter to follow the match. USA and Russian supporters were left perplexed due to the match not been streamed live or shown on television. This is American Rugby editor Curtis Reed was very vocal in voicing his discontent to the situation while it was being played while there was no shortage of criticism directed athe the rugby authorties from not only the USA and Russia but also the IRB. 

USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville had stated that it was not able to be streamed due to Allianz Park not having the required facilities to transmit it online. Saracens though denied that this was the case at all as the club´s official twitter account made it clear that something else had in fact gone wrong. After the match Melville explained what had in fact occurred and Reed posted it on his website

In short the cost of supplying the feed was too high and Melville insists that he was only made known of this at the eleventh hour. He also promised that future matches involving the USA Eagles outside of North America will be all be streamed. The delayed apology to the United States rugby community was commonly accepted but not altogether agreed upon as there were still tweets asking for the management team at USA Rugby to be replaced. 

It was an unfortunate day as the USA Eagles produced their best performance of the year to win by 28-7 against a team ranked just one player lower in the IRB World Rankings. It was only the second time in 2013 that the USA played a test against a lower ranked side and having defeated Georgia seven days earlier it gave the North Americans an undefeated European tour and sets the team up well for the home and away Rugby World Cup qualification matches against Uruguay. 

The USA will be the favorite against Los Teros who are now ranked 20th in the world behind the 18th ranked USA and 19th ranked Russia. Uruguay will be an entirely different kettle of fish to that of Russia which lacks reliable, seasoned forwards unlike the South Americans. The USA will therefore need to improve its set-piece and work hard on the scrum in particular. 

Against Russia this was no problem as the USA had the better of play across the park. The USA Eagles began the match very well with English based professional players Chris Wyles and Samu Manoa both scoring first half tries. The highly promising Cam Dolan scored a try late in the match to further enhance his reputation as one of the future prospects for the North Americans. The back-rower joined Todd Clever and Scott LaValla to give the USA as good of a back-row trio as possible. Due to the abundant options in the back-row Manoa played in the second-row. 

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