The Eagles had possession of the ball with a chance to beat Japan in the closing minutes of their 20-14 loss Sunday in Tokyo. Coach Eddie O’Sullivan believes that if his Eagles had more possessions in the second half, prior to the final one ended by a knock, perhaps they’d have come away victorious.
“I think we defended very well, particularly in the second half,” he said, “and if we could have had more time with the ball in the second half we maybe could have won the game, but we spent too much time without the ball.
“We could have possibly stolen the game at the very end, but I think on the balance of play, it would have been a steal, because Japan, to be fair, had the most (ball).”
Though disappointed in the result, O’Sullivan and scrumhalf Mike Petri found silver lining in the resolve of the American defense.
“For us, we worked very hard on defense, and I think considering the number of changes we made for this game, that was heartening,” the coach said.
“Really proud of our boys and the way that we scrambled and played defense,” added the scrumhalf. “I know we showed a lot of heart, a lot of determination out there, but again credit to Japan, and certainly good luck to Japan in the World Cup.”