Friday, February 2, 2018

Eagles v Pumas - Carson, CA


USA Eagles open their defense of the Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) tomorrow at StubHub Center (formerly Home Depot Center) in Carson, a city within the Los Angeles Metroplex. Eagles host Argentina, long the top national squad in the hemisphere. Eagles claimed the title in Comodoro Rivadavia a city on the Western Hemisphere rugby powerhouse’s central coast 11 months ago. Eagles came back from deficit to draw, 27-the-house, with the Argentine XV and thus secured top spot in the top international competition this side of either pond.

Key to the outcome of Saturday’s match – kick’s at 6pm MST and can be viewed live on the Rugby Channel – will be the play of AJ MacGinty’s cover at standoff, Raptors #10 Will Magie. Magie replaces MacGinty due the Sale flyhalf’s knee injury sustained while playing professionally v Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership on the cusp of the New Year. MacGinty and medical team reckon he’ll return to duty April/May, which is better than the initial diagnosis that had AJ out for one year, plus. It’s time for Mr. Magie to seize this opportunity and stake his claim on the 10-shirt in a formidable and effective manner.

Raptors Shaun Davies rides the pine at kickoff in favor of #9, Nate Augspurger. Not much dif ‘tween the two, but Davies does have that sweet box boot…

Saracens Titi Lamositele is back in the first row at loosehead to link up with Worcester Warriors #2, Joe Taufete’e. Taufete’e displayed fine form in the last Test, a 20-21 defeat to Georgia in Tbilisi, grounding a brace of trys in the first forty and rocking support both at breakdown and in the sets.

Doncaster Knights engine, Nick Civetta, currently receiving instruction from Welsh defensive genius and Doncaster DoR Clive Griffiths, is primed for a breakout tomorrow, and he’s paired with NYAC’s Nate Brakeley in the propulsion laboratory.

Backrow forwards trio of Germishuys, Lamborn and Dolan will face off against the explosion of energy that is the Argentine scrum seal: fast, furious and looking to make a name for themselves.

Regards tomorrow’s competition: they are fit; they are well-coached in former Puma, Daniel Hourcade, and they, to a man, are looking to return the ARC trophy south of the equator. This is the match, mytjalies! I’m goin’… you goin’?

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