Both the USA Selects and Canada Selects came out of last night’s game feeling like they had missed opportunities to score more.
“We applied pressure by the way we ran but you also have to finish it off with your skills,” said Canada Head Coach Kieran Crowley. “We’re going to have to be a lot more skillful than what we were tonight and treasure the ball when we play Argentina.”
USA Head Coach Mike Tolkin was blunt, also.
“We missed a couple of easy penalties to get points,” said Tolkin, opting not to finish that sentence with an exasperated “again.”
And the yips on kicking was just part of it.
“International rugby is about composure and about pressure,” said Tolkin. “A lot of times we lost our composure, especially when our captain went down. And we didn’t put pressure on them. In the second half we started going outside more and we started finding those holes; it was just the last pass we didn’t complete. That was unfortunate.”
The USA did make inroads into Canadian territory, once in the first half and a handful of times in the second, but they then they’d stopped really playing as a team – they proved to themselves that Tolkin’s plan work have worked, but they proved it too late, and didn’t have the composure to exploit the possibilities.
“We are very inexperienced,” said Tolkin. “For just about every one of them it’s their first time internationally. When we started going wide late we had holes [to run through]. That’s what we wanted to do early.”