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Eagles lose 53-14 v. Ireland, Lessons to Learn before Japan

Photo Cred: USA Rugby


It is hard to come out and say this result was predicted.  When Gary Gold presented his squad, I knew that this was the best we could put on the pitch, it can be argued that these 23 Eagles were the best side ever fielded.  The only difference could be is adding Aj MacGinty back in at Fly-Half.

But looking at the score sheet it makes you wonder if the Eagles would want this one back.  Going into the sheds only down 10, 24-14, we knew what we needed to do.  Continue to bring the same intensity that we had during the first half.  After a frenetic first ten minutes, the Eagles settled down into their attack that led to earning a try and conversion and a penalty try.  Physically, this side matches up well with what Ireland fielded.  Big, Bruising, and Skillful...but the skills did not show up on the pitch.

The Eagles knocked the ball on, could not win their clear outs and conceded the ball numerous times at the Breakdown.  An Irish player would often find the ball only inches after its launch from a Shaun Davies box kick.  Yet, the Eagles were still in this.

In the second half, what seemed to deflate the Eagles occurred when Joe Taufete'e laid on the pitch unconscious.  After several minutes he was removed on a cart and waved to the crowd to show he was ok.  Dylan Fawsitt, The Butcher, came onto the pitch at Hooker bringing his own energy around the park, but the Eagles' scrummaging was off, their energy deflated.

There were many things the Eagles can take away from this match as a positive and there were things that were executed poorly.  Eagles Set Pieces and Scrims were positive, turnover losses at the breakdown and tackle rate were both negatives. Yet, I saw the bulk of a roster that could captivate the American audience when they think of Rugby.  For the most part, the Eagles matched up against Ireland.  This is the team that has risen to twelfth in the world, although they may feel this weekend's rise is hollow compared to last week.

Gary Gold and this player group led by Blaine Scully has done something no other Eagle side has done.  Nine Test Victories, One Test loss, another victory and loss in non-tests giving the United States Eagles a record of 10-2 in 2018.

ARC Champion, CANAM Trophy Defended 2x, Pershing Cup Victory.  2018 was the year of the Eagles.

The Eagles begin their 2019 Americas Rugby Championship Title defense on February 2nd in Santiago, Chile against Los Condores.

Scoring-

IRELAND 57
Tries – A. Conway 3 ('3, '16, '76), J. Conan (33’), T. Beirne ('52), S. McCloskey ('59), Q. Roux ('66), J. Ryan ('80)
Cons – J. Carbery 7/8 ('4, '17, '34, '53, '67, '77, '80)
Pens – J. Carbery 1/1 ('26)
Yellow cards – I. Henderson ('23)
USA 14
Tries – J. Taufete’e ('12), Penalty try ('23)
Cons – W. Magie 1/1 ('13)
Pens – W. Magie 0/1

~Aaron Castro