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LaValla Looks Ahead to Test

National Teams

LaValla Looks Ahead to Test

Scott LaValla moves back to flanker for the USA as they take on Canada Saturday in Sacramento and he will roam the field with Todd Clever and Danny Barrett, hoping to keep the hard-nosed Canadian attack in check.

The Eagles are coming off a better performance against Japan, but a performance that was, ultimately, a loss.

“We were frustrated,” LaValla told Goff Rugby Report. “We were in a position to win that game, and while it was a decent match to watch from a fan standpoint, and it was better than when we played them a year ago, we’re competitors, and we want to win.”

Part of the difference was the set pieces, with the scrum folding somewhat for two Japan tries in the second half, and the lineout mis-firing at key moments.

“In the lineout it was homework,” said LaValla. “We had a couple of combinations we thought would work well and it wasn’t the case. We did our homework and we got it wrong. The lineout is a great platform for us, and you need that platform because we can launch good attacks from it. We know that it’s tremendously important.”

The scrum was another issue, and LaValla said the back row is taking part of the responsibility. They loose forwards pop their heads up too early, was the consensus among coaches and players, as they stopped pushing and started looking for a break. More on that in another piece.

Instead, LaValla looks to the newish players in the lineup. Brett Thompson gets his first cap for the Eagles 15s team, slotting in at the wing.

“ I’m excited to see Brett play,” said LaValla. “I played with his brother and for his dad, and it’s good to see him there.”

The there one i Thretton Palamo, who was the youngest player ever to be capped by the USA until Titi Lamositele broke that record. Palamo was capped twice, once in 2007 and once in 2008 before going on to play football for the University of Utah. Now he’s back.

“It’s been a long time since I played with Thretton and it’s good to be with him again,” said LaValla. “I want to see him play. He’s going to be a problem for the opposition - a 6-3, 250-pound problem is what he is.”

Lineup changes or not, LaValla said the Eagles are improved.

“We are a better team now,” he said. “We’ve had more time together. We don’t have as much time together as Japan or Canada do, and that’s why you see little errors creeping in. But the more time we spend together, the better off we’ll be.”