The USA v. Canada game was rife with USA scoring chances.
Here’s our count of the best scoring opportunities:
- A box kick by Tim Usasz was well followed up on by Blaine Scully, forcing a holding-on penalty. Nese Malifa took a short range penalty from the right side, and missed.
- The USA takes a lineout about 37 meters out. They show good continuity and after prolonged pressure get a penalty right in front of the posts. Malifa misses.
- A penalty gives the Eagles a chance at a lineout deep in the Canada 22. A strong maul starts and Hayden Smith does well to make sure it doesn’t go into touch. Finally, a wide pass to Scully is somewhat low. He has to dive to catch it and knocks it on. Taku Ngwenya was free on the wing is he had received the pass on the run.
- The Eagles return to the USA 22 with some good runs from Malifa and Lou Stanfill. Canada infringes and Jamie Cudmore is yellow-carded. The Eagles, ten meters out, take the lineout. The Maul goes nowhere, but Canada infringes again and after a long advantage, they take the lineout again. Canada defends the maul well, and when Todd Clever runs on his own he is penalized for holding on.
- Up by two men the USA gets a lineout in the Canadian 22. Stanfill appears to have Ngwenya free on the wing, but he takes contact and Canada forced a knock-on.
- Taku Ngwenya snakes through the Canada defense. Usasz is on his right but can handle the pass.
- USA force a scrum after a Canadian lineout five meters from the Canadian line. Two crashes, two pick-and-jams, and a long pass to Ngwenya, but wing MacKenzie tackles him into touch three meters from the line.
- USA steals the lineout from that attack. Mike MacDonald and John van der Giessen surge on before Malifa puts a grubber into the corner. Blaine Scully races in to dive on it for a try.
- Scully fields a kick at midfield and passes to Ngwenya, who goes through nine Canadians before passing to Lou Stanfill. Stanfill appears away for a try but is tackled brilliantly by James Pritchard. It looks as though he scores right on the line before Pritchard rolls him over, but there’s no proof on the TV footage, and no try is given.
- Paul Emerick takes a pass from Usasz, on the run, at his own 22. Emerick goes 60 meters to the Canadian 22, but his support just can’t catch up to him, and most of the forwards stay out wide.
USA wins the ruck and Andrew Suniula puts a grubber behind the Canadian line but there is no one to chase.
- Paul Emerick takes a pass from Andrew Suniula just outside his own 22, runs 60 meters, but has no one to connect with. His forwards win the ruck, but Todd Clever is isolated and Canada turns the ball over and goes 85 meters the other way for a try.
- USA steals a Canadian lineout in the Canada 22. The ball goes wide to Emerick, who fights through several tacklers. But Chris Biller is penalized for using Stanfill as a shield.
- Eagles take a lineout seven meters from the Canadian line. They run through 12 phases before Nick Johnson breaks through to the line. He tried to score, doesn’t make it, is just short, and then frantically tries to present the ball back. Ball squirts out of the ruck and Canada gains possession.
- Canada kicks clear and Tai Enosa gets the USA going again. USA inside Canada’s 22 and on the front foot. Andrew Suniula runs a switch with Scott LaValla, who is tackled. From the ground LaValla tries to pop to Roland Suniula. The timing is off and the ball comes off Suniula’s leg.
- USA takes a five-meter lineout, but after a couple of phases, Shawn Pittman can’t handle a pass and Canada regains the ball.
- A darting, slashing run from Enosa sets up a ruck around midfield and then Mike Petri dummies and takes off. He has too many chasers on his tail so he kicks on, hoping his support will get there. They don’t, but the Eagles get a penalty for a late hit. The Eagles tap and go, Ngwenya makes a half-break and is mauled close to the line, whereupon the Canadians strip the ball and run into touch to end the game.
That is, by our count, 16 legitimate scoring opportunities, of which only one yielded any points at all.