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Photo: Abel Barrientes

In their final tune-up before the 2015 Rugby World Cup, the USA Eagles fell to the Australian Wallabies 47-10 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The Eagles kept it close in the first half with a try from Mike Petri, but a lot of mistakes and turnovers cost them in the second half, as most of those blunders led directly to Wallabies points.

The Wallabies got out to a strong start, as they put continuous pressure on the Eagles in the USA 22. However, the Eagles defenses were up for the challenge, as they laid brutal hits on the Wallabies. That aggressiveness would eventually get them in trouble when Brent Peterson was shown a yellow card for an infraction in the ruck. The Wallabies took advantage of the extra man, and put two tries on the board, one in the ninth minute from Bernard Foley, and another from Nick Phipps a few minutes later.

With 15 men again, the Eagles maintained their defensive stranglehold, keeping the Wallabies attack at bay. They continued to lay huge hits as well. Midway through the half, AJ MacGinty continued his hot play and drove a long penalty goal through the uprights to put the Eagles on the board. As the half was winding down, the USA got their attack functioning. In the 32nd minute, the Eagles put a great combination together, and Takudzwa Ngwenya burst towards the try line and barreled through a few defenders before offloading to Petri for the try. The Eagles went into the break only down by four points.

The Eagles picked up right where they left off in the opening moments of the second half, as they got within a few meters of the try line. But, they would lose the ball due to a blunder in a line out. In the ensuing moments, the Wallabies would march the ball downfield and Sean McMahon put the ball down for a try following a maul.

Just a few minutes later, Dean Mumm finished up a Wallabies attack with a nice try. A conversion would extend their lead to 28-10. Tensions between the squads would boil over with a little pushing and shoving midway through the half. Then, it appears as if the USA could get back into the game, as captain Chris Wyles intercepted an errant pass and almost went in for a try. However, the USA attack was stalled in front of the line, and they would end up killing any momentum when their line out just outside the try line went long. The Wallabies took advantage, and immediately burst downfield for another try to pad their lead even more.

The Wallabies would add two more tries late in the half, including another one following a botched USA line out. The USA didn’t even really get close to the try line for the remaining moments of the match.

Now, both team set their sights on the Rugby World Cup. The USA opens the tournament on Sunday, September 20th against Samoa.