Written by Pat Clifton    Friday, 23 September 2011 05:48    PDF Print Write e-mail
Wallabies Much Too Much for Eagles
National Teams - USA Men

JJ Gagiano sneaking past Elsom for score
center Junior Sifa being bottled up
Colin Hawley left in Quade Cooper's wake

As Queensland star Quade Cooper kicked off to open the match, no one gave the Eagles much of a chance to compete, but they did early on, making Australia wait a full seven minutes for their first batch of points.

The scoring bid started when Cooper ran the ball wide, exploiting an overload, and fullback Kurtley Beale inserted himself into the backline, giving a pass from Cooper to inside center Robert Horne who dotted down.

The Wallabies immediately went back on attack, and did so too quickly for the Eagles. Kurtley Beale made the initial line break and would have likely scored if not for a desperate ankle tap tackle from Tai Enosa. Australia spun the ball wide quickly, and flanker Rocky Elsom recorded the score.

The ray of light for the Eagles became visible when Tim Usasz made a huge break down the touch line off of a turnover and dished to Scott Lavalla. The lock was tackled thoroughly, and the Eagles kept pressure on by spinning it wide, where they fould Nese Malifa, who sent a kick toward the touch line for wing Colin Hawley. The World Cup debutant fielded the kick as though he'd done it a dozen times before, putting the Eagles well inside the Australian 22.

After a series of unsuccessful pick-and-drives, Nese Malifa laid a grubber into the tryzone. Will Genia fielded the kick, but Hawley and Kevin Swiryn blanketed him, bringing him down in goal to win a five-meter scrum.

The first attempt at a setpiece was reset by referee Nigel Owens, but the Eagles managed to win the next scrum while backpeddling, and No. 8 JJ Gagiano deflty plucked the ball from the base and snuck around the outstretched arms of Elsom to score the first try conceded by the Wallabies in Rugby World Cup 2011.

Shortly after, the Eagles turned over the Wallabies in contact and were on attack once again. Down five, they used some misdirection to cut against the flow of play and threaten to draw level. However, Kevin Swiryn lost the ball forward in contact at the end of a probing run, and Elsom went directly back on the offensive. The Eagles were out of place defensively, and a missed tackle from Malifa allowed Adam Ashley-Cooper to set Beale up for the score.

Directly after, the Wallabies went back on attack, and center Robert Horne penetrated the American line off of a lineout well inside their attacking half. He dished to Anthony Faingaa, who bounced Colin Hawley out of the way en route to pay dirt, giving Australia a 22-5 halftime lead.

Australia opened the second half exploiting the area of the game where the Americans are weakest -- the scrum. Lavalla was pinged for entering a ruck from the side inside his own 22, and Australia pounded the Eagles with a scrum, from which Genia put Drew Mitchell through a hole for a try.

Seconds after the restart, Australia used a pace of the game not comfortable for USA to create an overload, which reserve Pat McCabe sliced through for a try.

The Eagles breached the halfway mark for the first time in the second half at around the 50-minute mark after kicking a penalty to touch, but the ensuing lineout was botched, as the intended receiver, Hayden Smith, didn't even get off the ground.

As the Wallabies shuffled on six reserves, possession was traded back and forth until the Wallabies slung the ball from touch line to touch line off a lineout for their 7th try and Adam Ashley-Cooper's first of the game.

He scored his second when an enterprising American possession, sparked by a Malifa line break, was ended by a lack of support for a Shawn Pittman run.

The wing's hat-trick was capped off seconds later, after a Berrick Barnes cross kick overwhelmed the Eagle defense and put the Wallabies on a fast track to the try line.

Australia poured two more in garbage time to secure a 67-5 win, the Wallabies' largest margin of victory ever against the USA.

With the bonus-point win, Australia secured its advancement to the knockout rounds, barring an upset to Russia.

The Eagles fell to 1-2 in pool play, and with the quarterfinals now out of reach, their goal must be getting a second win in a single World Cup, something they've never done. If they beat Italy, they automatically qualify for the 2015 event.

Australia 67
Tries: Horne, Elsom, Beale, Fainga'a 2, Mitchell, McCabe, Ashley-Cooper 3, Samo
Convs: Cooper 2, Barnes 3

USA 5
Tries: Gagiano

USA
15 Blaine Scully (Unattached)
14 Colin Hawley (Olympic Club)
13 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
12 Junior Sifa (Unattached)
11 Kevin Swiryn (Agen)
10 Nese Malifa (Glendale)
9 Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC) *Captain
1 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh)
2 Phil Thiel (Life University)
3 Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks)
4 Scott LaValla (Stade Francais)
5 Hayden Smith (Saracens)
6 Inaki Basauri (Perigueux)
7 Pat Danahy (Life University)
8 JJ Gagiano (Univ. of Cape Town)

Reserves:
16 Brian McClenahan (Olympic Club)
17 Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93)
18 Louis Stanfill (New York Athletic Club)
19 Nic Johnson (Unattached)
20 Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club)
21 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby)
22 Chris Wyles (Saracens)

Substitutions:
Stanfill on for Smith (61’), Petri on for Usasz (69’), McClenahan on for Thiel (72’), Wyles on for Enosa (73’), Johnson on for Dahahy (75’)

Yellow Card: Scully

AUSTRALIA
15 Kurtley Beale
14 Adam Ashley-Cooper
13 Anthony Fainga'a
12 Robert Horne
11 Drew Mitchell
10 Quade Cooper
9 Will Genia *Captain
1 James Slipper
2 Tatafu Polota-Nau
3 Ben Alexander
4 Rob Simmons
5 Nathan Sharpe
6 Rocky Elsom
7 Ben McCalman
8 Wycliff Palu

Reserves:
16 Stephen Moore
17 Sekope Kepu
18 Dan Vickerman
19 Radike Samo
20 Luke Burgess
21 Berrick Barnes
22 Pat McCabe

Substitutions:
Barnes on for Beale (39’), Samo on for Elsom (47’), McCabe on for Horne (48’), Burgess on for Genia (49’) Kepu on for Alexander (49’), Vickerman on for Palu (54’), Moore on for McCabe (66’)