Mike Te’o Leads an Offensive Showcase by the Eagles

USA Eagles Fullback Mike Te’o scores a hat trick of tries in a offensive clinic by the Eagles in British Columbia.

Mike Te’o earned man of the match from the entire universe for an amazing performance against the Maple Leafs. Last year’s star of the San Diego Breakers offered an amazing performance offensively. The southern Californian who made his test debut for the Eagles during last year’s ARC has made himself a permanent fixture for the squad. In addition to his three tries, Mike Te’o played a very precise game of the deep ball and not allowing the ball to get behind him. At 23 Mike Te’o already has nine caps to his name, and is likely to exceed Todd Clever’s record if he ever retires. He is a player to keep your eye on for the future of not just American rugby but world rugby as a whole.

Eagles find offensive power that has never existed before

In the last two weeks the United States have scored a combined 102 points. In the last 14 years there have been only 3 matches in which the Eagles have scored more than 50 points in a single match, and never has the United States had two in a row. On Saturday the Eagles opened up early with two tries in the first six minutes, and added on three more at the eleven minute mark. This match showed seven tries by the United States, with five different players scoring. The Eagles’ forwards made an impressive showing as well with three of their tries coming from the first eight.

The improvement offensively comes from a drastic improvement in power running. The USA has been performing well with applying strong pressure to opposing defenses and weakening them during the match. Of the Eagles 15 tries, 10 of them have come in the second half. This shows a power and grit that has developed for the USA that weakens defenses over the game resulting in eventual domination. The match did not look like a match between two teams separated by one position in the world rankings. In this scenario the edge would usually be given to the home team, certainly not the blowout by an away team.

Eagle Skills are developing and directly resulting in points.

The Eagles traditionally have had major issues in every portion of the game, especially in kicking and set pieces. John Mitchell’s improvement in these categories have been obvious and are a welcome site for American rugby fans. In the past, the timing of corner kicks seemed out of the realm of possibility for the American squad. The past three matches however have featured two corner kicks for tries.

Other areas of the kicking game have improved as well, with low grubber kicks that the Eagles players are finally able to track down and beat the opposition for points.

The best improvement on the team, has been at the line out. Over the past two weeks the USA has not lost a single lineout, and has had an embarrassing number of steals from the opposition. At the five meter line, a solid lineout is not enough and being able to set up a good maul is the best way to score points. The Eagles have found that combination, with two of the USA’s seven tries coming off the rolling maul on Saturday.

USA-51 Canada-34

The Worst is yet to come for the USA squad

It is nice to see come amazing performances by the Eagles in recent weeks. It shows a positive trend for the program as a whole. The battle is not over yet, as the USA has two matches left which will feature an away match against the Argentina XV. Both teams are currently tied at 14 points. The USA will play Chile away and Argentina will play Brazil. Both of these matches are likely to be won by the leading teams. This will likely lead to a de facto championship match in Argentina. For the USA to win, they will have to improve defensively. Argentina is not likely to allow the number of tries the US have been scoring to date. If the USA allows as many tries as against Canada, then the USA will find themselves in second again.

Great Preview for the RWC qualifiers

This summer the Eagles will have their first round of RWC qualifying matches for the 2019 RWC. This summers matches will be against Canada making for three test matches against them in 2017. John Mitchell has been using this match as a testing ground for his squad for the summer. Based off of this and recent results it looks like the USA is in a good position for the summer series.

“Main Photo Credit”