As the Eagles face Uruguay tomorrow, of course, there have been some setbacks.
Key among them is an injury AJ MacGinty suffered in his team’s tie with the London Irish last week. When asked if it was true that MacGinty would be out for a few weeks, United States head coach Gary Gold simply shook his head, adding that the air medium could rejoin the team for next week’s game in Montevideo. .
There was, of course, the usual dribbling from overseas players, but Gold said this was not as difficult as it was in the last series, because those players did not have to enter Canada.
Still, Greg Peterson is on the bench, not as a starter, which in part is a nod to how well Nick Civetta and Nate Brakeley are playing.
Gold’s selection includes a start for former Notre Dame College All American Andrew Guerra, who has shown great potential in his first international games. In flyhalf Will Magie has a # 10 who kicks and passes more than he runs (whereas MacGinty could be called a running flyhalf). When asked if the 50-22 could be in use, Gold objected a bit,
“I’m not sure the logic behind opening up backfield to run more works,” Gold said. “But World Rugby can convince himself as much as he wants.”
Gold said it’s something to watch out for from Los Teros, but it would also be reasonable to assume that Magie might want to put it into action.
“It’s something we’ve talked about; Again, I’m skeptical of giving it too much importance, “Gold said, and while acknowledging that the US scored points by attempting a 50-22 game against Canada in Glendale,” it’s also more about the fact that we’re going to have to have watch out “.
The United States wants to keep the ball in hand, and captain Bryce Campbell certainly wants to. The job of the inner center is to break through and create spaces for others, and we have seen his fellow center, Tavite Lopeti, find a small space.
“We want to play ball in hand,” Campbell said. “The kicking battle is a very important part of the game, but what it leads to is open field opportunities. And that’s where, hopefully, Lopeti and I can find ourselves running somewhere. “
Aside from Magie, the bottom line remains largely unchanged, although Mike Kruse replaces Ryan Matyas on the wing. Christian Dyer made several impressive plays against Canada in Glendale, looking strong under the kicks and taking on defenders. Marcel Brache seemed very comfortable executing counterattack lines, and the combination of his ability to beat the first defender, thus advancing, and his teammates who supported him quickly, allowed the United States to mount attacks (and avoid penalties).
Eagles Name 23 will face Uruguay on Saturday
Up front, the front row of David Ainu’u, Kapeli Pifeleti and Joe Taufete’e was very effective against Canada, and while they will have a tougher job in the scrum against Uruguay, there is optimism in the US squad.
Against Uruguay you can get bogged down in repeated scrums, and you have to watch your discipline because they can hit penalties from almost anywhere. You also need to be patient, not only throughout the game, but also in small moments. Have a getaway and somehow turn the ball over? Don’t act like you can get the ball back and finally score; Get defensive and put that disappointment aside. That is also patience.
– Alex Goff (@goffrugbyreport) September 13, 2021
A new law may well be to the advantage of the US, and that’s the dropout law. Specifically, when a team stays in goal, instead of a five-meter scrum, it is now a drop-kick from the goal line.
In the past, being held was a blessing for Los Teros. They could take the scrum, collapse or lead it, receive a penalty and possibly a yellow card or a penalty try.
Now, instead, they have to deal with counterattacking with a kick. For the US, the same situation might work better for them. The Eagles are more dynamic in the open field and a kick from the goal line could result in a counter attempt … or at least a drop goal.