You are here
Team USA notched a 62-13 win over Russia Saturday at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The win is the Eagles’ largest ever over Russia, and it improves the USA’s record under first-year head coach Gary Gold to 5-0.
Pumping in nine tries was an impressive feat, considering the Eagles managed just one against the Bears in 2016. They’re averaging 48 points a game under Gold.
Russia struck first in the second minute, catching the Eagles before they could get going. The USA fielded the opening kickoff, kicked the ball away, and Russia was in. The successful conversion put the USA down 7-0.
The USA’s bulky midfield didn’t take long to come into play, as Paul Lasike flattened a couple of Russians before linking up with fellow center Bryce Campbell. Will Hooley inserted himself with some fancy handwork, sneaking a deft pass to Marcel Brache on the wing. Eventually, it was Joe Taufete’e plunging into the try zone from short range to finish off the scoring movement.
The conversion attempt was missed, leaving the Eagles down 7-5. The visitors extended the lead through a penalty after Manoa was pinged for a high tackle, making it 10-5.
The Eagles responded in the 19th minute through John Quill. The forwards did most of the damage on the drive, with Samu Manoa and Cam Dolan connecting on the wing to gash the Bears. The final push was a short ball off the base of the ruck to Quill. Eric Fry latched onto the flanker and pushed him through to pay dirt. AJ MacGinty slotted the extras, pushing them up 12-10.
Lasike did the scoring himself on the next try. Following a line break from Taufete’e in the middle of the field, the bruising runner took a short ball from just a couple of meters out, stretching the ball over the line. Fry was lucky to have not been penalized on the previous carry, as he crawled for an extra few feet with his tackler on top of him, but Lasike’s score was allowed. MacGinty’s conversion gave the hosts a two-score lead, 19-10 after 25 minutes.
Russia cut into that lead with another Kushnarov penalty in the 28th minute. Then MacGinty re-extended it a few moments later – 22-13.
Scrumhalf Shaun Davies put on his cape for the next extraordinary effort. Vasily Artemyev impressively completed a quick lineout to himself and hoisted an up-and-under. He challenged Manoa in the air, but it was the diminutive Davies who somehow took the ball out of the air and scurried deep into the attacking end.
The ball was quickly sent the other direction, with lock Nick Civetta masquerading as scrumhalf. With numbers on the front foot, Taufete’e was too tough to tackle, and he scored from about 20 meters out.
In short order, wing Marcel Brache danced through an unorganized defense in counter attack, leaving several Bears grasping for air en route to the fifth American try of the game. MacGinty one of the two late scores, giving the USA a 34-13 halftime advantage.
Brache completed the brace 70 seconds into the second half when MacGinty laid a grubber that Russia mishandled twice before the South African winger was able to scoop and score from a foot away.
Gold emptied the bench with the game well in hand, and it was reserve scrumhalf Nate Augspurger catching a finishing pass from reserve center Dylan Audsley for the USA’s seventh try of the game. Reserve flyhalf Will Magie slotted the conversion, making it 48-13 with just under 10 minutes to play.
Dolan made it eight tries for the USA both in the game and in his career. He ripped the ball off Quill, who had engaged a pair of Russian defenders, and dove under the crossbar for the short-range score. Magie converted – 55-13.
Scully kept the board ticking into the 80th minute. The Eagles won an attacking lineout, and a few phases later Nick Civetta slipped a backhanded offload to the captain, who appeared to dislocate his finger while grounding the score. He popped it back in and Magie popped two more points through the uprights.
USA 62-13 Russia
Tries: Taufete’e (2), Brache (2), Lasike, Quill, Augspurger, Dolan, Scully
Cons: MacGinty (5), Magie (2)