The USA Rugby men’s 15s and 7s teams put in some absolute marquee performances this weekend, to triumph in front of their home fans. Both teams will still be celebrating, with high scores, high workrates and highly entertaining results to make every US rugby fan happy.
The Men’s 15s side had a dominant match away in Uruguay, in the final round of the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship. Meanwhile back home in Las Vegas, the Men’s 7s team played the home-field advantage well, to win the HSBC USA Sevens tournament.
If ever a weekend could signify a leap in confidence, then February 3 may well see more smiles from players and fans of the game (see main picture).
USA Eagles play ‘angry’ to take down Uruguay
The World Rugby rankings were released last Monday and Uruguay had leapfrogged the United States. When head coach Gary Gold was informed of this, he informed the messenger to leave his office not believing the news.
The Eagles must have taken exception to this change, as they came out ‘on fire’ in Montevideo, Uruguay. The Eagles brought a heavy attack that saw the Eagles score 40 points in the first half. The forwards were major contributors, as three of the six tries in the first half came from the front eight.
The spread of tries proved it was a group effort, with seven different players scoring the nine tries over the match. Pleasingly, those scorers included Psalm Wooching’s first international try.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL TRY ALERT! @PsalmWooching dots down. Congrats, Psalm!
— 2018 USA 7s Champs (@USARugby) March 3, 2018
Hanco Germishuys had an amazing tournament throughout, tying Mike Te’o for most tries in the tournament at four a piece.
— The Rugby Channel (@TheRugbyChannel) March 3, 2018
Uruguay 19 United States 61
The defense by the USA was also strong, as Uruguay were unable to put any points on the board until the second half. Los Teros did manage three tries during the match, but not until well after the match was out of their reach.
Throughout the Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) this year, no team had scored 20 or more points throughout. The closest any team came was Uruguay with 19 points. The away team blitzed that record, with 61 points; 8 tries and one penalty try awarded.
This is the type of performance the United States needs if they are looking to improve on the world stage. The US Eagles will retake their position over Uruguay in the world standings following this amazing performance – to the enjoyment of Gary Gold, and all US rugby fans.
— 2018 USA 7s Champs (@USARugby) March 3, 2018
The US Eagles take the 2018 ARC title, with the Argentina XV finishing second.
Americas Rugby Championship results –
- Argentina XV 28 Brazil 8
- Chile 17 Canada 33
USA Men’s 7s unbeaten in Las Vegas.
Only once had the men’s team won a tournament on the HSBC Sevens Series – 2015, in London. This year in Vegas, the Eagles were determined to put out a good performance for the home crowd.
Over the three days of the tournament, Team USA ‘laid waste’ to a wide range of teams. That included England, Samoa, Australia and then, in a magical semifinal result, Fiji to make it to the cup final.
Danny Barrett had a great weekend, with three tries and was rewarded as player of the tournament, ahead of the ‘speedstick’ Perry Baker and Carlin Isles.
Perry Baker certainly gave the strong performances fans have come to expect from him. Bagging eight tries over the weekend, including a SportsCenter worthy try against Fiji.
The Eagles faced Argentina in the cup final, to close out the weekend. Team USA were dominant from the beginning. It took only three minutes for the Eagles to find the ‘end zone’ and that was only the beginning, with USA scoring 4 tries.
The Eagles defense also managed to keep Argentina from scoring any points, to bring the Cup to the host nation, for the first time in the Las Vegas 7s history. A celebration of years of effort by Mike Friday and his USA Rugby sevens men.
— Rugby Renegade (@RugbyRenegade) March 5, 2018
Danny Barrett was aptly seen wearing a WWE United States Championship following their final win against Argentina showing they were the true Champions of the weekend.
A Great Weekend for the USA.
USA Rugby has made great strides to improve their play this weekend was a huge step. While the Eagles are still a tier two nation they are drastically improving every year. Gary Gold’s effect on the team is too early to see. This tournament is a the right way to start off his career for the 15s team. Mike Friday has been a god send to the USA 7s team and has continued to push the teams to new heights every year. The Eagles’ future looks bright and things will only continue to improve.
“Main photo credit”
Embed from Getty Images