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About 4,000 fans saw the Eagles beat Georgia 36-20 in their biggest offensive explosion since they beat Russia in Glendale in 2010. Players are clearly excited about the new pattern of play, and they have taken the new adventurous approach to heart – an approach that meant they wanted to stay out of prolonged mauls, scrums, and tight play.

“We knew this would be a physical match; we knew it the minute we found out we were going to play,” said USA captain Todd Clever.  “I am proud of the boys for stepping up to the challenge, but that’s pretty easy when we have a crowd like this tonight.”

The plan was to stress the big Georgia forwards by making them run. Overall, it worked, although in the altitude in Colorado both teams were feeling it at the end.

“We wanted to mix it up,” said Clever. “They are big units and we wanted to play with fast balland make them run. Sometimes it didn’t come off but the majority did. We came out on fire and that’s what we wanted to do, but we didn’t put as many nails in the coffin as we should have.”

It didn’t hurt that the first scrum was 14 minutes into the game (Head Coach Mike Tolkin smiled when discussing that). Clever had a hand in that, too, selecting a lineout when Georgia were not straight in their lineout.

“That was a pretty easy decision to make,” said Clever.

All of the support work and open play made for 28 points in the first half, but only eight second.

“I thought our support work died down in the second half, and that hurt our ability to really open it up and pull away,” said Tolkin. “I thought our defense was sound. Our counter-rucking put a lot of pressure on them.”