Latest Episode:

Eagles tackled by Maori 22-59

Watching this game it's really tough to just go into the normal recap.  There was a positive air going into the first half.  The Eagles responded to the Haka rallying around a Soldier bearing the US flag and marched forward.  As always there's about 15 cameras filming the Haka and a few camera folk were standing in the way.  The Eagles riding a 8-0 winning streak under Gary Gold would not be intimidated.

But first you must examine the match sheet.  Nate Augspurger withdrew due to injury shortly after the Captain's run due to a major quad tear.  Luke Hume was also unavailable to start, this forced the activation of Tim Maupin from the reserves to starting right wing.  Will Magie moved from reserve fly-half to full back, Mika Kruse activated to the bench for his Senior debut with the Eagles.  Also making their debuts on the Eagles stage were Chance Wenglewski from Lindenwood and Gannon Moore.  Wenglewski out of Lindenwood University has been in the high performance system sine high school with selections to the HSAA, JAA, and Collegiate All-Americans squads.  Gannon Moore currently plays for the Silverdale Seahawks in New Zealand and North Harbor in both the Mitre 10 and Provincial B-Side competition, previously before leaving for New Zealand a few years ago he'd earned a Eagles camp invite while playing for the KC Blues.

This fixture took away from the thing that Coach Gold and the Eagles have done best.  As an out of international window match it leaves many European based players unable to be released for their clubs for National Duty.  Thus, not allowing Gold to continue with consistency of selection in addition to key injuries to both Aj MacGinty and Eric Fry.

The match seem to get out of hand early with Left Wing Ragen Ware scoring at the '4:40 mark off a pass in traffic from Outside Center Rob Thompson and Scrum-Half Brad Weber as Will Magie had stopped Thompson near the 10m line.

Driving deep into the Maori half after multiple infringements the Eagles earned a penalty, Captain Tony Lamborn electing to have Will Hooley kick a penalty at '13.

Play would go back and forth, contentious and brutal.  The Maori opened up the score line going into the second quarter with tries by Mitch Karpick ('15:20), Ash Dixon (21:03), and Ben May ('24:18).  Hooker Dixon would take a yellow card at '31:32 with the Eagles giving up ground and unable to convert for time.  Captain Lamborn rallying the Eagles forward Scrum-Half Shaun Davies found himself with the ball, he encountered Maori #5 Lock Pari Parkinson, who lifted him into the air and then driving him into the ground.  Shaun Davies would leave the match with injury, Parkinson only drawing a yellow card at '35:31.

The Eagles rallied to close the half at '39:00 with a try by Ryan Matyas.

When it comes to players showing out at this level, you have to examine a few.  Gannon Moore had been off the High Performance radar for quite some time, he provided some necessary physicality in the mid-field.  Missed long pass aside, Dylan Audsley had continued to become a harder player at Test level, his carrying and tackling seems to have left no step lost without Paul Lasike available for this Match.  With a revolving door at loosehead prop of late with Eric Fry now out for the tour with injury, Chance Wenglewski went 80 minutes scrummaging against Ben May.

Their Maori dominance continued to show with Isaia Walker-Leaware bursting through the Eagles defensive line. at '46:00.  The Eagles forced a turnover proving clinical in a long drive down the pitch that proved unfruitful as with the Maori turning the ball over at the ruck.  at '53:35 Outside Center Rob Thompson took a try off an intercepted pass thrown by Dylan Audsley.

Tim Maupin scored at '58:15 in response as the Eagles settled down. Shortly thereafter Abel Robbie earned a yellow card after coming on for Ash Dixon at '61:00.   As the Eagles continued to surge and gain energy with a man advantage Scrum-Half Ruben De Haas seeing contact passed to Matyas, who dished it right back, ball almost fumbled De Haas founding a charging Cam Dolan who went in for the Eagles third try of the night at '69.

To finish off the night for the Maori Akira Ioane snagged the ball on a kick chase before dishing to Jonah Lowe for him to run into the try zone at '72:20.  Shaun Stevenson scored the final try at '75:31.

USA (22)
Try: Matyas, Maupin, Dolan
Conversion: Hooley (2)
Penalty: Hooley
Try: Ware, Karpik, Dixon, May, Walker-Leawere (2), Thompson, Lowe, Stevenson
Conversion: Black (5), Ioane (2)
YC: Ash Dixon, Pari Pari Parkinson, Abel Robbie

~Aaron Castro