Written by Pat Clifton    Saturday, 13 August 2011 22:21    PDF Print Write e-mail
Eagles Squander Opportunity Against Canada
National Teams - USA Men

Andrew Suniula. Numina photo

van der Giessen. Numina photo

Todd Clever. Numina photo

Despite numerous threats at the Canadian try line, the Eagles mustered just one touch down in their 27-7 loss to Canada Saturday at Infinity Park in Glendale, Colo.

“I’m proud of the boys,” said captain Todd Clever after the loss. “We had possession, we had the ball in their end, and we did everything but break the defense.”

They trailed just 10-7 at intermission, with Nese Malifa missing two penalties from the right side of the field and the Eagles scoring just the one try, even though Canada spent nearly 20 minutes with a personnel disadvantage after receiving two yellow cards.

Three times after Malifa’s second miss the Eagles opted to kick for field position on penalties instead of going for posts. Each time they came up empty handed.

The lone American try was forced into pay dirt by fullback Blaine Scully after he tracked down a short-range grubber by Nese Malifa.

The Eagles squandered numerous promising possessions with knocks, penalties resulting from a lack of support and poor decision making. Andrew Suniula twice kicked the ball in attack when it perhaps would have been a better decision to keep the ball in hand. Both times the Eagles came away empty-handed.  

At the beginning of the second half, Takudzwa Ngwenya made a penetrating break and dished to Louis Stanfill, who carried the ball over the tryline but failed to touch it down. The TMO confirmed the flanker didn’t ground the ball, and Canada scored 17-straight to clinch victory.

Much more reaction from Infinity Park to come.