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Rugby World Cup: Eagles Plagued by mistakes, Argentina claws Eagles 47-17

Photo Credit: Mike Lee-KLC

This one is difficult to react to.  Writing more as a post-game analysis than as a recap has allowed greater reflection.  Unlike the England match where the Eagles were beaten off the line from the moment George Ford kicked the start and Will Hooley was demolished by Piers Francis.  The Eagles were in this one.  And they were in this one for a very long time.  

In a way, similar to the match against France, the Eagles belonged there.  The physical intensity that brought to this game was a higher level than we'd seen from them this World Cup. Even in their dominating wins against Canada, they've never looked to this level.  Much more than in the France match, the Eagles belonged on the same field against Los Pumas, at least for awhile. 

There were some significant mistakes executed on the field, or the game plan did not allow for De Haas to make adjustments.  But it seemed on attack, when the Eagles would make and break the gainline there would be the decision to box kick the ball away instead of re-cycling and continuing to beat up on the Pumas defenders.  This gets into another problem, MacGinty executed the same gambles he had against France.  When the Eagles were within 10 meters of the goal-line he'd chip through and our chase again was too slow and the Eagles would give up possession.  

That's what made this one more frustrating, it wasn't fitness that took the Eagles out of this.  It was the lack of experience at this level.  They belonged out there, the Eagles were physically in this game a very long time.  But slowly, the mental mistakes began to mount against Argentina.  At some point in every game of sport there are two things that can take over: Talent or Experience.  For Los Pumas, their experience took over and they exploited the mental mistakes of the Eagles.

When you see the final result, 47-17.  It looks ugly.  Yet, the Eagles did get better, as they have all tournament.  Will that be enough for Tonga on Sunday?

~Aaron Castro