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“I was really disappointed in how we started the game,” said Tolkin. “We were flat. We didn’t hustle to the ball. We didn’t put them under pressure, and as a result we put ourselves under pressure. When we changed it up in the second half and put pressure on them, they couldn’t do anything.”

Canada got one try, off a USA miscue, and only one of their penalty goals was the result of impressive offensive pressure – the other two were long-range kicks thanks to penalties around midfield. Meanwhile the USA had some excellent try-scoring chances, and failed to execute. Yes they were hard-done by – late tackles, and professional fouls not yellow-carded (neither was Todd Clever for punching a Canadian play who tried to yank him out of a maul by his hair), but in the end the Eagles needed to execute their attacking scrums and their quick offload game.

“In the first half we were penalized in just about every scrum and we really couldn’t get anything going,” said Tolkin. “In the second half it was better. But if we’re going to play that dynamic offload game, the effort has to be there, the hustle has to be there, and the work rate has to be there. We had those scrums where we could have scored tries, and should have executed and scored tries, but really it shouldn’t have come down to that. We should have been in a better position by then.”

Tough words from the coach, who will certainly be hoping his busy overseas pros will be available for Ireland June 8 and Tonga June 14.

Notes: Adam Siddall, Seamus Kelly and Liam Murphy all claimed their first caps for the USA Saturday. Tolkin used only three subs on the day. Professional USA players Chris Wyles, Scott LaValla, Samu Manoa and Taku Ngwenya are expected to join the team for the Ireland test match in Houston. The last three games between the USA and Canada in Canada have been Canadian victories by 6, 3, and 7 points, respectively.