The USA Eagles Rugby Team’s road to the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand stopped at Glendale’s Infinity Park Saturday evening where the Eagles hoped to avenge last week’s 28-22 loss to Rugby Canada.
But the Canadians had other ideas, jumping to a ten-point lead on a converted DTH van der Mere try followed by a penalty kick. The USA’s Chris Biller put the Eagles on the board in the thirty-eighth minute of the first half, and Glendale’s Blaine Scully added the conversion to put the Eagles to within three at the half.
Despite dominating possession in the second half and pressing the Canadians, the Eagles came up empty in the final forty minutes, and the Canadians, taking advantage of sloppy ball control and turnovers, scored seventeen unanswered points in the second half to secure a 27-7 victory.
Next week the Eagles travel to Tokyo to take on the Japanese National team in their final international test before pool play begins in New Zealand in September. The United States will have their hands full in Pool C action, first facing Ireland followed by Russia, Italy, and power-house Australia.
The test at Infinity Park was Rugby Canada’s last before the World Cup where they will face France, Japan, New Zealand, and Tonga in Pool A.
NBC’s Universal Sports Channel will offer a limited selection of the World Cup matches live and a full slate of all matches for web subscribers.
New to Rugby?
Rugby is the second most played game in the world, and its popularity is growing in the United States. Colorado is home to over 60 rugby teams, ranging from high school boys and girls to Olde Boys where many players are over fifty.
Each match is played in two forty-minute halves (thirty for High School) with a ten-minute halftime. The clock continues to run through the game unless an injury prompts the referee to stop time.
A try is similar to football's touchdown and is worth five points. A successful conversion (similar to football's extra point) adds two additional points. Penalty kicks and drop goals are scored at three points each.