Tuesday, December 01, 2009
The United States have booked themselves a place at the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand following successive wins over Uruguay.
In their first match in Montevideo, the USA picked up a narrow 27-22 victory. In the second leg though, at home in Florida, Eddie OSullivans side won convincingly, 27-6.
They will be in Pool C for the New Zealand hosted World Cup, where they will face Australia, Ireland, Italy, and one other European qualifier.
Captain Todd Clever scored two tries, with Louis Stanfill and Kevin Swiryn also crossing for tries in Fort Lauderdale, an unlikely setting for an international rugby match.
Many believe that the United States are the sleeping giants of world rugby, and that with the correct systems in place and exposure to the sport, could soon be a dominant force.
Coach OSullivan is pleased with the progress the side are making, and the way they performed against the South American side.
"It's tough to hit the ground running after not being together since July, and although we qualified, which was our ultimate goal - they were a little rusty early on.
"I can't be too hard on them, though, they got the job done and you can't forget that we scored eight tries in the last two games against Uruguay."
Theres no doubt that the Eagles qualifying for the World Cup is great for the sport in the United States as the profile will be raised a notch once again. They did it in style last time around with the try of the tournament. Hopefully they can replicate that, and more, in 2011.