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SONA
04-06-06, 20:06
US Eagles fall to Ireland 'A'
Saturday June 03 2006
Irish smiles in San Francisco
Ireland 'A' opened their Churchill Cup account with a solid if unspectacular 28-13 victory over the US Eagles at Santa Clara Stadium in San Francisco on Saturday, running four tries past the hosts.


Michael Bradley's side relied on their forward power to seal the win, with tries from captain Shane Jennings, hooker John Fogarty and loose forward Neil McMillan all the result of successful line-out drives.

Andrew Maxwell added the coup de grāce during 11 minutes of injury time with a neat chip and chase.

Ireland now have a week to prepare for a powerful NZ Maori side aware that victory will book them a place in the Edmonton final on June 18.

Jamie Heaslip was named man of the match after another eye-catching performance in a side featuring eight changes to the starting XV that beat the England 'A' 33-18 in March.

Simon Keogh, Andrew Maxwell and John Muldoon all made their debuts at 'A' level while Tom Court, the former Queensland tighthead prop and international shotputter, earned his first run in the emerald green even though he is yet to play for Ulster or club side Ballymena.

The Americans, under the charge of interim coach Peter Thorburn, were in action for the first time in nearly a year but took an early lead with a Francois Viljoen penalty.

Paddy Wallace replied in kind for Ireland after good breaks from Keogh and Heaslip had put the Eagles under pressure.

Then Ireland began to turn the screw. Matt McCullough won the line-out just inside the USA's 22, Ireland launched the rolling maul and Jennings, the Leicester flanker, got the touch down.

The hosts moved deep into Irish territory with a powerful run from fly-half Alipate Tuilevuka but coughed up possession.

Ireland retained their 10-point lead heading into half-time but tempers boiled over when Fogarty and Owen Lentz were sin-binned for fighting.

Viljoen converted the resultant penalty but Wallace, having missed a simple penalty attempt, responded in the sixth minute of injury time.

The Americans were then reduced to 13 men after flank Todd Clever was sin-binned for persistent infringements at the breakdown.

After 50 minutes, captain Kort Schubert, who plays for Cardiff, had a try ruled out in the right corner for a forward pass.

Viljoen's penalty attempt would then have put the Eagles within one converted score - but it was Ireland who went on to score.

McCullough took the line-out and McMillan was driven over by Irish powerhouse pack before Maxwell notched up the fourth try - which earns them what could prove to be a valuable bonus point.

The Ulster wing chipped over the top, chased his kick and managed to dot down the loose ball before a Salesi Sika try for the US Eagles.

The scorers:

For the USA:
Try: Sika
Con: Viljoen
Pens: Viljoen 2

For Ireland 'A':
Tries: Jennings, Fogarty, McMillan, Maxwell
Con: Wallace
Pens: Wallace 2

The teams:

USA: 15 Francois Viljoen, 14 Mike Palefau, 13 Salesi Sika, 12 Vahafalau Esikia, 11 Jeff Hullinger, 10 Alipate Tuilevuka, 9 Tyson Meek, 8 Kort Schubert (captain), 7 Tony Petruzzella, 6 Todd Clever, 5 Mike Mangan, 4 Carl Hansen, 3 John Tarpoff, 2 Owen Lentz, 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements: 16 Patrick Bell, 17 Chris Osentowski, 18 Mike French, 19 Brian Schoener, 20 Mark Aylor, 21 Brian Barnard, 22 Mose Timoteo.

Ireland 'A': 15 Robert Kearney, 14 Simon Keogh, 13 Andrew Maxwell, 12 John Hearty, 11 David Quinlan, 10 Paddy Wallace, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 8 Shane Jennings (captain), 7 Jamie Heaslip, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Matt McCullough, 4 Trevor Hogan, 3 Tom Court, 2 John Fogarty, 1 Ray Hogan.
Replacements: 16 Declan Fitzpatrick, 17 Brian Blaney, 18 Ronan McCormack, 19 Damien Browne, 20 Neil McMillan, 21 Eoghan Hickey, 22 Kieran Lewis.

Referee: Phil Smith (Canada)
Touch judges: Andrew Small (England), Peter Allen (Scotland

jboulet4648
08-06-06, 20:06
Boy did we look horrid!

Simon Griffiths
08-06-06, 22:06
I was impressed with the fly-half - nice and original! The rugby world needs more crash ball 10s! :D

It was a good match from a neutral's view (although maybe anything would have looked good after the Eng v Scot match :rolleyes: ). Viljoen impressed for the most part at full-back - his first tackle sticks in my mind, cut the guy down like nobody's business! Great last line of defence (in my book what a full-back is - unless I'm playing there...)

SONA
09-06-06, 00:06
The number 9 (Tyson Meek) on USA is a college kid in his 20's from my alma mater Oklahoma University. Wish I could have seen the game.

jboulet4648
09-06-06, 04:06
The #13 had stone hands...how many times did he knock on? How many tries were scored because of this.

The only players who I truly thought were any good was the 6(CLever) and 15 (Viljoen). The #10 in the first half was okay. Other than pretty poor.

At least Canada did not look too hot....we may still have a shot!

Simon Thomas
09-06-06, 10:06
Sorry Simon G - totally disagree with you - or I missed the sarcasm you may have intended. The USA #10 was a liabilty and destroyed any chance of fluidity and continuity.

A crash-ball #10 will never threaten any international side's defence (even Finland at IRM rank #96), and will just be gobbled up - as happened.

With the USA #13 alongside him it was single route offence and poor handling, so USA hardly threatened. There are some terrific running and creative backs the USA could have selected - shame they didn't and were concentrating on route one or lateral play all the time.

Chris Picard
09-06-06, 15:06
I watched the match and expected a slightly better performance. I did not expect the US to win the match, just be more competitive.

My notes for US

Lineout ball was horrid. Timing seemed off.

Backline, neither scrumhalf impressed, Mose looked good in command but passed everytime and as predictable, Meek good pass, good options, but lacked the command of the forwards. Were is Chris ??? from OMBAC or David Williams from Chicago. Flyhalves - one overriding question for the US side, without Hercus who is the back-up. Jason Kelly and BYU stand-off are just young. What about Link Wilfey? The centers -- enough said - the two pros should help. The back three looked good at times. So, good overall building blocks, all need higher level playing to get up to speed.

I am not the coach of the side but I did like the US players ability at restarts, in the scrums and their desire to go into contact. The forwards as a whole looked alright in the rucks and mauls securing possession and poaching ball.

They fell to an open style of play and will need to figure out how to defend. I did like the recovery on defending the maul from the irish match to the maori match.

The killer was the mistakes. I counted 5 knock-ons with advantage that turned into trys.

The fortitude of these young amatuers will now show going into the next match.

Simon Griffiths
10-06-06, 16:06
I was impressed with the fly-half - nice and original! The rugby world needs more crash ball 10s! :D
Yes Simon, you missed some glaring sarcasm there. :)