The Eagles fell one conversion short of beating Canada in regulation and advancing to the Plate Final Saturday at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Nev.
Folau Niua was two-for-two on conversions in the game. Luke Hume missed a conversion attempt directly in front of the posts following Zack Test’s second-half try. The Eagles wound up tied 19-19 with Canada at full time and losing 24-19 in overtime.
“That was Folau’s kick and Luke took the ball and kicked it,” said Eagles coach Alex Magleby.
“Luke doesn’t practice conversions on a regular basis. He’s not one of our conversion kickers. That was Folau’s kick to make. Folau missed an easy one yesterday, but consistently he’s a pretty good kicker, and that was Folau’s kick to make.”
The United States got off to a really poor start against Canada, conceding converted tries in quick succession.
“It didn’t even come down to that kick,” said Magleby. “Our first half, we were just making dumb decisions away from the game plan. A few guys went rogue and put us under enormous pressure, so pretty easy for Canada to capitalize on it. It didn’t need to be like that.”
The game didn’t need to come down to a conversion, sure, but it did. And the prime example of someone going rogue, as Magleby phrases it, was Hume selfishly taking a conversion kick that wasn’t his to take.
The missed conversion cost the Eagles not only two points in the game, but two-to-three points in the World Series standings. If the Eagles find themselves in the relegation tournament later this season, by just a few Series points, remember Hume’s failed conversion attempt.