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Eagles Smack Canada 38-16, Win Qualifier Series

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Eagles Smack Canada 38-16, Win Qualifier Series

Ryan Matyas provided a spark for the USA. David Barpal photo.

The USA started with the clear intention of attacking wide, with both wings, Christian Dyer and Ryan Matyas getting the ball early. They used prop Joe Taufete’e to crash up the middle, too, and eventually forced Canada to infringe, giving captain AJ MacGinty an easy penalty attempt, which he converted.

After that, the old frustrating Eagles reared their heads again, giving up a very ill-advised penalty at midfield. Fullback Cooper Coats slammed the kick over for Canada and it was 3-3. Moments later it was 6-3 after Coats smartly used the 50-ss rule to get his team a lineout. Peter Nelson slotted an easy penalty and Canada had a lead.

And it seemed it would get worse for the Americans when Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz was penalized for a dangerous clearout. He got a yellow card and that seemed to energize the USA.

The Eagles continued to attack and defended well also. Finally they got a penalty, took the lkineout, and mauled it over. just like that. Flanker Hanco Germishuys touched it down and it was 8-6.

They built on that lead. A superb box kick from Ruben de Haas was chased well by Fa’anana-Schltz (just back on the field) and he forced a dropped ball. Quickly the ball was used and MacGinty popped a kick wide for Germishuys. The flanker gathered and charged ahead but was just dragged down short of the line.

No matter, as Christian Dyer, who was coming all the way from the opposite wing, picked up and was over in the corner. It was a lovely team try and some good hustle from the former Cal captain.

Another touchline conversion attempt for MacGinty and he missed this one, too, in the swirling wind.

But now it was 13-6 and you could see the confidence build. A stolen lineout saw Kapeli Pifeleti almost make the line, but again the USA recycled quickly and sent a skip pass to Germishuys for the flanker’s second. Now it was 18-6.

Even when the Eagles had things not go their way—a penalty in the scrum made David Ainu’u angry because he was pretty sure he’d owned that push—they came back. After earning a penalty with about 30 seconds left in the half, the Eagles opted to kick for the corner instead of kick for points. It was an audacious move and it paid off as the Eagles won the lineoutm mauled it, and after Pifeleti peeled off, Germishuys crashed over for his third. MacGinty made the kick and while Canada was able to get a penalty, it was 25-9 at halftime.

In the second half, the USA was usually in control of the tempo. A series of excellent box kicks, along with the USA chasers re-winning that ball, allowed them to get deep in Canada territory. He was helped by the fact that the wind switched around halftime and continued to favor the USA.

That was in evidence when Canada tried to  The Eagles camped out inside the Canadian 22, and then when a dropout from the goalline was launched, de Haas was under it about 46 meters out. At that point the scrumhalf tries something we don’t see enough in USA games, and launched a drop goal attempt that sailed over much to the delight of the Infinity Park crowd.

Moments later the scrumhalf charged down a box kick, gathered the ball, and was gone from 50 meters. Now it was 33-9. Joe Taufete’e capped it off with a try off the back of the maul in the driving rain. 

Up 38-9 the USA rang the changes and Canada just was completely out of it. Their few try-scoring chances had been relatively early, and they just couldn’t beat the combination of altitude, elements, and momentum. Near the end of the game Canada pressured a little better and almost scored before Matyas slid onto the ball to save it. then, with the clock past 80 minutes, the Canadian maul earned a penalty try to make it 38-16. But that was it. The Eagles were through to play Uruguay, and Canada were left to consider what might have been.

USA 38
Tries: Germishuys 3, De Haas, Dyer, Taufete'e
Convs: MacGinty
Pens: MacGinty
DGs: De Haas

Canada 16
Tries: Penalty Try
Convs: Penalty Try
Pens: Nelson 2, Coats

USA Lineup

1. David Ainu’u 2. Kapeli Pifeleti 3. Joe Taufete’e 4. Nate Brakeley 5. Nick Civetta 6. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz 7. Hanco Germishuys 8. Cam Dolan 9. Ruben De Haas 10. AJ MacGinty (C) 11. Ryan Matyas 12. Bryce Campbell 13. Tavite Lopeti 14. Christian Dyer 15. Marcel Brache

Reserves: 16. Dylan Fawsitt 17. Chance Wenglewski 18. Paul Mullen 19. Siaosi Mahoni 20. Andrew Guerra 21. Nate Augspurger 22. Will Magie 23. Mike Dabulas

(All reserves played)

Canada Lineup

1. Djustice Sears-Duru 2. Andrew Quattrin 3. Matt Tierney 4. Corey Thomas 5. Conor Keys 6. Lucas Rumball 7. Matt Heaton 8. Siaki Vikilani 9. Ross Braude 10. Peter Nelson 11. Kainoa Lloyd 12. Spencer Jones 13. Ben LeSage 14. Brock Webster 15. Cooper Coats

Reserves: 16. Eric Howard 17. Cole Keith 18. Tyler Rowland 19. Kyle Baillie 20. Michael Smith 21. Rob Povey 22. Jason Higgins 23. Patrick Parfrey