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France convincing winners over England

Alipate Fatafehi huge hit vs USA Eagles

The Wraparound from Rugby HQ - Week 27

Pacific Warriors Documentary Trailer

Levani Botia smashes Tonga to set up try

Thursday, September 15, 2011

USA grind out a win over Russia in New Plymouth

The USA Eagles put their loss to Ireland behind them as they beat RWC debutants Russia 13-6 in New Plymouth earlier today. The only try of the match was scored by halfback Mike Petri. 

The game started in decent conditions but by the end it was made very difficult for both sides, and it times became scrappy. Chris Wyles managed to convert the Petri try though, and kicked two other penalties.

The Russian lineout failed to fire as the USA stole their ball on a few occasions, with some great work from Saracens lock Hayden Smith. In the loose captain Todd Clever was all over the place, as was prop Mike MacDonald, who came away with the Man of the Match honours for his efforts.

Unfortunately Clever may find himself in a spot of both after he put in a later and high shoulder shortly before full time. It was spotted by touch judge Craig Joubert, but only a penalty was given at the time. A citing may well be on the cards, which would rule him out of their next match, against Australia, and be a huge blow for the squad who value his leadership so highly.

The try that the USA scored was great to watch, with excellent handling and support lines. You can watch that, and the rest of the highlights from the match, on the official RWC website now.

Below is a quick look at the tackle that has resulted in Todd Clever being cited.

Posted by Rugbydump at 10:05 am | View Comments (15)

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, Rugby World Cup

Viewing 15 comments

moddeur September 15, 2011 11:34 am

I don't know if this can be of any use to any one in particular, but French TV channel TF1 offers full match replays of every game on its World Cup website. There may be limitations due to geography that I am not aware of, being myself in France, but if that is the case then a French proxy address will do the trick.
Look for videos with tag "intégralité", this means "integral" and denotes full match videos.

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Rugbydump September 15, 2011 12:24 pm

Hi Moddeur, yes, that will be unavailable to those outside of France. ITV in the UK, Fox Sports in Aus, Supersport in SA, etc all have similar setups. Using a proxy will do the trick though, so I'd advise those who can't watch on TV to look into it. It's perfectly legal too.

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BuzzKillington September 15, 2011 1:59 pm

The Rugby World Cup actual website has every game available 24 hours after the fact for the whole world. Although I think for Americans it's a 72 hour wait because NBC kind of stiff-armed the World Cup and changed it to PPV last minute.

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jorge September 15, 2011 11:37 am

Was really dissapointed to see Clever's shoulder charge. Hope he gets suspended. Great player otherwise.

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Full Back September 15, 2011 11:40 am

I have to say that I like Clever as a player and was impressed with his performance against Ireland.
I think the hit he put in was unnecessary and uncharachtaristic as it may be for him, quite dirty. The guy was coming at speed, had a player already wrapped around him and the shoulder charge came in quite high.
I was in favour of Lawes citing and am in favour of Clever getting cited. Both for the same reason, if they are let go it sets a precedent for potentially more dangerous tackles. If this had been Bakkes Botha (who I can't stand by the way) and he charged Quade Cooper in the same fashion we would in all likelyhood have seen a yellow card.
Pity for the Eagles but at least a 1 match ban is in order. Against the Aussies it will hardly make much difference in any case.

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Natural7 September 15, 2011 12:12 pm

but if Quade Cooper kneed somebody in the face.....

totally agree out of character but deserves to be punished.

Also in this game i thought the russians grounded the ball at the base of the post, but was watching and working so didn't see what happened.
any TMO for it or anything? look like the attack carried on (late second half)

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Harriieee September 21, 2011 2:24 am

I think it's becoming increasingly clear after Cooper's shambolic display vs Ireland that the lack of a suspension was a clever underhand NZ tactic to keep Cooper at 10 and prevent someone playing there who looks like he knows what he's doing.

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Natural7 September 15, 2011 12:15 pm

Also Ngwenya was SHOCKING this match. was there a single time he got the ball and didn't spill it 30foot forward?

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i love bacon September 16, 2011 12:27 am

I agree that he was pretty absent during this match and against Ireland (did he get a head knock during the warmup matches at all? He doesn't wear scrum caps that, maybe that has something to do with it? I dunno). But to be fair, most of the times he knocked the ball on happened because he was trying to force an offload and the tacklers' arms kept popping the ball out.

That doesn't mean he didn't spill the ball a couple of times for no real reason (the weather didn't help, though). So that was frustrating.

I wish he'd come infield more. He did it once towards the end of the match and helped with a good play as a result of it. Otherwise, when he just waits out wide, hoping to get the ball at speed and fly around some defenders like he does in Europe, it comes to nothing.

If he starts being a bit more proactive, that'll definitely help.

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Full Back September 15, 2011 1:28 pm

Ngwenya was shocking against Ireland also. I think he gets to feed off some great centres in Biarritz and uses his pace, but really isn't up to much when the pressure is on. I thought he'd be a bit more dangerous to be honest.
I think the italians are going to absolutely roll over the forwards in both of these squads.

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sacricketer September 15, 2011 5:42 pm

Said it before, will say it again - Clever should not be captain. Captains do not act in that fashion. He is a very quality player but is not level-headed enough to lead a team by example.

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WacoKid September 15, 2011 10:09 pm

I was disappointed with the officiating in this match. I saw several times where Russian players were guilty of entering the ruck from the side and the ref just ignored them. One was actually right before he called it on the US for Russia's second attempt on goal. That being said the ref telling Clever he owed him for is laundry was hilarious.

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i love bacon September 16, 2011 4:03 am

Yup, just saw that Clever has indeed been cited.

Hoping for just a warning or a week's suspension...he probably deserves more of the latter. I think he just got too riled up and stopped using his head. It was a seriously dumb move to put in a needless shoulder charge like that...

But he really is a cornerstone of the USA team - in both offense and defense; I somewhat disagree with sacricketer, in that Clever does lead by example, at least in terms of work rate around the pitch. He's one of the few standup players like that on the squad...

...but, the good news is that each game, more and more seem to be putting in the effort to show that they're good enough. Johnson against Ireland, Paterson, Petri, the Suniulas, etc. - promising stuff.

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i love bacon September 17, 2011 5:08 am

Update: Clever was just cleared to play (ie - no suspension). The Russians might feel a bit shafted, and I'd be tempted to agree.

But, then again, I'm happy he'll be able to play in the rest of the WC.

His judicial officer was Jeff Blackett,; I'm sure it helped that Clever isn't French ;)

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