USA Men


Written by Pat Clifton    Tuesday, 03 April 2012 13:29    PDF Print Write e-mail
Hayden Smith is a Jet
National Teams - USA Men


According to the Twitter account of Hayden Smith’s personal football coach, Tim Brewster, the New York Jets have signed the Eagle and Saracens forward in the hopes of turning the Australian-born former basketball player into a tight end.

"Hayden Smith has signed with the Jets! Really think this guys upside in the NFL is huge!," Brewster wrote Tuesday on Twitter.

"A lot of coaches shy away from guys who haven't played the game because it is an exhausting process. To me, that's the exciting part," Brewster told the Daily Telegraph in Australia.

"Taking a piece of clay like that. And I am going to tell you, Hayden Smith is one beautiful piece of clay. Just mold him into what you want him to be."


 
Written by Press Release    Monday, 02 April 2012 17:11    PDF Print Write e-mail
Clever Retains Captaincy
National Teams - USA Men


BOULDER, Colo. -- USA Rugby Men's National Team coach, Mike Tolkin, has confirmed that hard-hitting loose forward Todd Clever will remain captain of the USA and will lead the team in its three international test matches in June against Canada, Georgia, and Italy.

Tolkin took over for former USA and Ireland head coach, Eddie O'Sullivan, in February 2012 and has made it clear that Clever, who has captained the USA in 20 matches since 2008, is still the man to lead the Eagles out of the tunnel.

"Todd has been an exceptional leader and representative of USA Rugby during his stint as captain. He leads through his hard and uncompromising play and through his extensive experience at the international level," said Tolkin. "I look forward to me and the staff working together with Todd and the rest of the squad to continue to improve the Eagles for the American fans.”

Clever has represented the USA on 40 occasions since his debut against Argentina in 2003, including seven Rugby World Cup games.  He has also played professionally in New Zealand, South Africa, and Japan.

He most recently signed a contract with Japanese side the NTT Shining Arcs in March.  Before signing with NTT, he played for Suntory Sungoliath and won two All-Japan Cups with the team.

 

 
Written by Press Release    Saturday, 31 March 2012 21:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eagles Onto Bowl Semis
National Teams - USA Men


A shorthanded try by Colin Hawley in the first half and a screaming half field burst from Rocco Mauer in the second was enough for the Eagles to put away Kenya 12-7 in the Toyko Sevens Bowl quarterfinals today.  The USA will play a very sharp Portugal team next in the Bowl semis.  That game kicks off tonight at 10:02 p.m. Mountain/12:02 a.m. Eastern and will be shown live on http://www.universalsports.com.

 

The last time the two teams met, the Kenyans snuck by the USA 14-12 in the bowl final of the Kong Kong Sevens last weekend, so atonement was certainly on the minds of the Eagles.

 

In Tokyo, Kenya was clearly targeting some of the bigger American forwards on attack and the result was their only score of the game.  Despite a great effort by Zack Test to track down Kenyan captain Colins Injera, the support came and a simple pop off the deck gave Kenya a centered try they converted to go up 7-5 after Hawley's first half score.

 

Mauer took a hefty shoulder charge by Humphrey Kayange in the first half.  Mauer was on a break down the right touchline and space closed up so Mauer dropped it on the boot.  In chase, Mauer was first obstructed and then taken out by Kayange.  Kenya should have gotten a yellow, but somehow didn't.  Karma kicked in though and cynicism in the second half by Kenya provoked the ref into issuing a well overdue yellow.  Mauer would have his revenge.

 

Spreading the ball wide, the Eagles looked to capitalize on the man advantage.  Hawley was instrumental in releasing Mauer for the go-ahead try in the second half, putting the pacy American into space with a well-weighted pass allowing him to build up a head of steam by the time he caught it.

 

The Eagles held on to the lead despite a late onslaught by Kenya. Zack Test crucially turned the Kenyan ball over and eventually Maka Unufe, the youngster who joined the team this week, got on a half break and knocked it on.  Thankfully the Eagles were safe as the ref blew the final whistle, preventing Kenya from one last gasp attack.

 

USA 12

Tries: Hawley, Mauer

Cons: Niua

 

Kenya

Tries: Ocholla

Cons: Ocholla

 
Written by Alex Goff    Wednesday, 21 March 2012 02:12    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eagle Staff Picked ... Almost
National Teams - USA Men


USA MNT 15s Head Coach Mike Tolkin enjoyed a trip to Georgia (the state, not the country) this past weekend and out of that trip came the final confirmation of his coaching staff.

Eagle coach Mike Tolkin still has some decisions to make. Ian Muir photo.Tony Smeeth will be the attack/backline coach, Dave Hodges will return as the forwards coach, and Dan Payne returns to coach contact and continuity. Chris O’Brien is back as the kicking coach, while Dave Williams remains strength and conditioning coach, Tristan Lewis the manager, and Paul Goulding steps in as video analyst.

Of note in this list is the return of Hodges, who was in doubt as budget cuts threatened his position. That an agreement was reached is positive news, as Hodges brings crucial real-world Eagle and pro rugby experience to the table. Also of note is that there is no scrum coach on the list. Tolkin still wants one; he just hasn’t found one yet. Hodges, who has shown he knows a little bit about it, will likely start work on this aspect of play, but Tolkin will almost certainly bring in a specialist at some point this year.

Tolkin met with his staff during the weekend, going over his plan for the team and how he wants the group to work together.

“It was productive, very productive,” the coach told RUGBYMag.com. “”We got a lot done. They are all great guys and I’d call it a good, enthusiastic motivated group.”

The coaches discussed players, strategy, and ideas. Tolkin likes to have debate among his staff, and certainly everyone set forth the ground rules on how they will work together. Clearly it’s a different atmosphere from the previous coach, because if it weren’t, at least one of those on staff wouldn’t be there.

Not in Marietta but a key component will be Luke Gross, whose position as head of player development has him becoming the grand Keeper of the Depth Chart.

But the scrum remains the topic of conversation. If there are two aspects of play where the Eagles can improve on and drastically improve their results, it is probably goalkicking and the scrum.

Tolkin values the scrum and practicing it, and that’s part of the battle. But he does want the right man in to handle it.

“We need someone who’s there most of the time, and I am trying to get someone domestic,” he said. Tolkin said he doesn’t subscribe to one specific scrummaging philosophy, but he isn’t looking for any wild ideas, either.

“I want someone with a sound philosophy, but who’s not wedded to it,” he said. “Scrum coaches who have run into problems are people who can’t adjust to their personnel or other factors they run into.”

So you heard it here, scrum coaches, the Eagles are still looking.

 
Written by Press Release    Tuesday, 20 March 2012 18:13    PDF Print Write e-mail
USA MNT Domestic Camp Slated for Spring
National Teams - USA Men


The Domestic Trial Camp for the Eagles will take place from May 30 to June 2 at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Some players will start to receive invitations this week and the invites will continue to be extended to players over the next four – six weeks.

Coaches who feel they have viable candidates for the camp should fill out the application on the USA web site that will be posted tomorrow (Wednesday March 21). These applications should be in no later than April 23.  The MNT staff will also be watching matches live and on film to help during the recruitment process.

Tolkin noted that players may go from attending a trial one week to playing in a test match the next week as the trial camp dovetails with the first June test match.

“Because of the recent coaching transition, we will be running the camp a bit differently this spring. As we would like to maximize the number of preparation days for new members of the squad before the Canada Test, we will be tagging the trial camp onto the front end of the Eagles’ summer assembly,” Tolkin said.

 

 

 


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