USA kicks off v. Canada at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, SC today, Saturday, August 17 at 6:30pm ET.
@Rugby_Magazine and @goffonrugby
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|World Cup Qualifier 1st Leg Rosters
|DTH Van Der Merwe
So it's worth noting that the USA has defeated Canada exactly once since 2005, and of course that was 12-6 in Charleston in a World Cup Qualifier. Canada won the second leg.
USA qualified for the 2011 Rugby World Cup by beating Uruguay in two games later in 2009.
For the 2003 Rugby World Cup, USA, Canada, Uruguay and Chile played sort of a league. Canada won it and took the Americas #1 seed. The USA went to the repechage, where they defeated Spain in two games to qualify.
In 1999 Argentina, USA, Canada and Uruguay played in a series with the top three qualifying. USA finished third.
Massive clash today between some very similar players. Jamie Cudmore v Samu Manoa ... Scott LaValla v Tyler Ardron ... Todd Clever v Aaron Carpenter ... James Pritchard v Chris Wyles.
Moment of silence for Dave Sitton, who called so many USA game. RIP Dave.
Now let's talk about national anthems for a bit. A vocal group has present Oh Canada very nicely, and do a great job with the Star Spangled Banner also. Remember back in 2009, Rugby Canada botches a recorded version of the US anthem in Edmonton. Challenge thrown down right now - Rugby Canada, will you do the job this time?
And we're off!
Well ugly start for USA. USA over-chase on a box kick by Mike Petri. Phil Mack goes through a gap, kicks downfield, and scores in the corner. 5-0 Canada.
Ngwenya and Fry push Harry Jones out, but Fry needed to stay infield.
TMO confirms it's a try. Kind of a mistake of over-enthusiasm by USA.
Terrific touchline conversion by Pritchard. TRY CANADA 7 USA 0
Decent series by USA through a series of phases, but Canada defends well. We come back for an offsides call against Canada.
Todd Clever points to the sticks and Chris Wyles lines up a penalty - middle of the field and about 42 meters out.
The kick is straight but he's a little under and it's short. Still 7-0 Canada.
Lineout USA at the Canada 22.
Funbled switch move by USA and Canada gets ball.
USA steals ball in open play and Eagles off running. Why no pass to Ngwenya ?!?
Scully nice take on a kick, but Canada does well to control.
8 minutes in, scrum to Canada.
Penalty against USA for not rolling away. Canada kicks for the corner.
First scrum of the game, and we've had ref Leighton Hodges tell the front rows to stand up twice ...
Solid scrum, slight wheel. Mack runs weak and kicks ahead ... ball rolls dead and it's a scrum to USA.
Good scrum, but box kick from Petri out on the full. Four box kicks so far for USA. One has worked.
Canada get a long advantage for a high challenge by Todd Clever. Kind of a borderline call, but it was high.
Canadians kick for the corner again.
Great pressure from USA but Eagles penalized for coming in from the side. Aaron Carpenter says they will go for goal ...
Massive kick from Pritchard and it's good.
14:38 Penalty CANADA 10 USA 0
Good restart by USA - retained and they look like they could go further but Clever can't get the handle on the pass.
USA looking frustrated. This has not gone the way they want right now, and they need to remember this is a 160-minute game (two matches) and settle down.
:) Referee gets the scrum cadence wrong, uses the old terminology. "My fault" he says.
Weird sequence as some wonky kicks could break things open. L'Estrange has to chace the bouncing ball and turns it over, but a massive tackle from Scott LaValla ends that.
Huge hit from Samu Manoa helps get the ball back for USA. Suniula and Stanfill good runs. High tackle on Kelly not called. Ngwenya grubbers and it rolls beautifully into the corner.
But it's all called back for that high tackle - Jebb Sinclair warned for having committed three penalties so far.
21 minutes in. Clever points to the posts. This kick is about five meters outside the 22 on the left side of the field.
Eagles might have wanted to take the Canada lineout at 5 meters.
Kick is off the post, and USA pressures, but penalty against USA for not rolling away.
Canada maul not going anywhere tonight.
But Canada spins the ball out to hard-charging Nick Blevins. He goes straight through and then passes to Mack. Mack is in for a seeming try, but we're going to the TMO - possible obstruction aiding BLevins, and a non-grounding. LaValla seemed clearly to be blocked.
... still waiting.
Sounds like this is coming back ... NO TRY
Penalty to USA near halfway.
Still USA defense exposed. L'Estrange and Clever both sucked in on a scissor move.
USA kicks for the lineout.
Seamus Kelly is out and Roland Suniula is in - straight swap at outside center at 25 minutes. Not sure if this is a blood sub.
Eagles loft a high ball but nothing comes of it. Lineout USA ten meters inside Canada half.
USA uses Manoa and Peter Dahl crashing up midfield but Dahl is badly isolated and turns the ball over.
Canada takes ball and kicks to the corner.
Another useless box kick by USA ... but some discussion from the ref ... someone's in trouble.
An off-the-ball thing by Jamie Cudmore - taking the jumper's legs out from under him.
Penalty to USA, but no card.
Lineout USA at midfield
Lots of work by USA but getting past the gainline is like squeezing cold honey out of a bottle.
Wyles loses the ball forward - mainly because he gets whacked in the face. Scrum to Canada right in the middle of the field. Field position all Canada.
Lineout overthrown by USA, but they defend well and force a knock-on. Once again, this game is all about who is making the most painful mistakes.
32:30 and still Canada 10 USA 0
USA get option of scrum or lineout and choose scrum (!). Indication of that aspect of play actually working ...
Good scrum but USA goes nowhere. High ball from L'Estrange makes about 13 feet.
Ngwenya trying to get involved all over ... one of the better Eagles tonight.
Report on Kelly - apparent knee injury. He is done for the night.
Bad turnover by USA and Canada gets it back. Defense there but Shawn Pittman nailed for impeding the halfback at the ruck. Pritchard lines this up ... and it's good.
37:30 PENALTY CANADA 13 USA 0
Brian Doyle comes on for USA ... for Dahl.
Doyle steals Canada lineout but referee blows his whistle. The players keep playing!!!
Penalty against USA for a lineout infraction.
And that's halftime. A pretty horrid half by the USA. Their tactic was to kick and chase, but that did not work. No chase, or not an organized chase, or not a good kick.
They could not get through the gain line.
We're coming back in a few minutes. Canada has to feel they can break through on the USA defense if they retain possession. But they will be content to just pin the Eagles in their end and force them into mistakes.
USA win the restart on a great take from Manoa, but then give it right back when Eric Fry goes into contact high and is held up.
Subs for Canada, Barkwill in for Hamilton at hooker, and Tyler Hotson in for Cudmore at lock.
Scrum to Canada, but USA destroys Canada scrum (!) and get a penalty. Nice work Shawn Pittman.
Wyles sets up for the kick. He has missed twice, once on line but short, and once off the post. No problem on this one.
42 Minutes PENALTY USA 3 Canada 13
Long restart by Canada. Kick to touch by Petri. He is hit a bit late and no call.
Good defense by USA. Kick ahead by Canada and a bit panicky for everyone, but Ngwenya saves USA bacon and Eagles kick clear.
Canada works it right and right and right, and the tackles are there. Finally penalty against Canada for sealing off.
USA kick to touch and take a lineout 10m inside their own half
ANOTHER box kick, but USA players offside. This plan has to be 86'd immediately.
Harry Jones kicks right into the corner. Perfect scoring opportunity for Canada.
Eagles ruin lineout and Canada knocks it on. USA dodge a bullet.
USA win scrum and box kick downfield, but bad chase, a missed tackle, and Phil Mack then gets down to the 5m.
Pick-and-jams, and then a short ball to Harry Jones to carries Manoa over the line.
50 MINUTES TRY CANADA 18 USA 3
CONVERSION GOOD CANADA 20 USA 3
Much better by USA ... series of good runs and a kick ahead for Ngwenya. But ball in Canada 22 is so slow ... finally knocked forward by Manoa as he is tackled.
USA scrum at halftime. Canada just not scrummaging. Penalty to USA ...
Wyles kicks to touch. Excellent scoring opportunity for USA.
Sloppy ball for USA but another penalty for the Eagles.
USA should go for tries here, and they do.
ANOTHER penalty ... Canada offside.
This is on the 22 meter line. Wyles says he wants to take a shot.
The kick is good
60 MINUTES PENALTY USA 6 CANADA 20
Canada retains restart ...
Knock on USA .... scrum
Todd Clever is down with, it looks like, something painful going on his with hand, and maybe a cramp. Looks like he dislocated a finger.
Phil Thiel on for Fry.
Ugh - Try Canada. Switch move for Blevins. He goes 20 meters, Quick ball and out to Van Der Merwe.
64 MINUTES TRY and CONVERSION CANADA 27 USA 6
The USA just not looking very good here. Their realignment on defense was horrendous.
McKenzie on for Evans.
Dala on for Carpenter.
Scrum for USA. Clever knocks the ball on.
Hirayama on for Jones.
Niua on for L'Estrange
So both flyhalves taken off.
USA gets a turnover and has the ball through a series of phases but get nowhere. Box kick to the corner.
Fenoglio on for Biller
Lamositele on for Pittman
Shaw on for Petri
Wolldridge on for Tiedermann
Lamositele capped at 18. Youngest ever Eagle.
Dolan on for Stanfill
Great break from Folau Niua. The Eagles keep it going and things look good. But Canada impedes with halfback, not seen, and Canada gets the ball.
Tempers flare - Chris Wyles not happy.
But Assistant Referee is watching the game as well ... so penalty against Nanyak Dala.
This has been part of the story, as Canada is committing some cynical penalties.
75 MINUTES Wyles takes a shot at goal.
White on for Mack
PENALTY USA 9 CANADA 27
Should USA be going for points knowing we have another game to play ... in Canada ... or pushing for a try?
Another sequence ended by a knock-on. Manoa has actually lost the ball a few times. However, penalty against Canada for a late hit.
Lineout for USA at Canada 22. About 2 1/2 minutes to go ...
Break by Ngwenya but after a couple of phases, USA loses ball forward - this one an unforced error.
Same old same old ... Eagles play too slow and pass too little because they are afraid to make mistakes, and as a result they make mistakes.
More USA attack. Scully runs down the sideline. He is put into touch, and that's it.
Bad performance by the USA. They missed key tackles, and just didn't play with faith in each other on attack. Canada more seasoned - a little cynical but that's how you win some games.
Canada 27 USA 9
Next week in Toronto.