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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Maori All Blacks edge the USA Eagles in exciting clash in Philadelphia

The New Zealand Maori All Blacks held off an impressive United States Eagles side on a brilliant occasion for USA rugby in Philadelphia at the weekend. The Maori All Blacks made it two from two on their North American tour, winning this one 29-19.

The visitors started well as Jamison Gibson-Park scored within a few minutes and gave the impression that it would be a bit of a rout, but the USA side hung in there and mixed it up physically, and actually led 9-7 at halftime due to three penalties from the boot.

Captain Tim Bateman scored early in the second before the USA again clawed their way back and were within seven points with minutes remaining, before Bateman scored again and a late Luke Katene try sealed the win for the touring Maoris.

USA Number Eight Cam Dolan was a star for the homeside, scoring a try and coming close on another occasion, but the experience and guile of the visitors told.

"We started slowly, but we came together and we did what we'd talked about all week," Life University's Dolan said. "All week we'd been saying we'd come out here and hit them. Everyone says Americans are big hitters, with football and all, and I think we proved that. We kept the possession and played a great game."

Maori All Blacks coach Colin Cooper said the win honoured the proud legacy of past teams.

"They were very physical, very committed and we nearly let them in at the end, but the boys showed plenty of determination to nail the win, so I am really pleased with the overall performance.

"When a group of men unite like that in front of what was an electric crowd, it was really special and a huge highlight for me personally," he added.

The USA now head across eastern europe to take on Georgia, followed by Russia a week later.

Posted at 3:51 pm | 8 comments

Posted in All Blacks

Viewing 8 comments

jimter10 November 13, 2013 7:48 pm

Strong effort by the Eagles, great atmosphere and commentary they were getting totally into it, no fatty Barnes just sounding smug, these boys were loving it.

Anyone have a link to Japan vs Scotland highlights? I want to see this Japanese winger who's been tearing it up, cheers.

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Dan November 13, 2013 9:40 pm

Great idea to have nations that aren't really well known playing against the second string of the top teams. Gives both sides a decent chance to play some competitive rugby, rather than just getting stuffed by the top teams until they develop and improve.

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josh freer November 13, 2013 10:04 pm

its on the bbc sport page. go to rugby union then scotland

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Oren November 13, 2013 10:47 pm

fair play to the yanks, good to see them competing with good quality sides and getting strong turnouts! game is defiantly on the up in that part of the world!

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TotesMcGoates November 14, 2013 6:01 am

I'm remiss to say that this was the only full game I caught over the weekend; very entertaining from both sides.

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ConnachtMan November 14, 2013 10:32 am

Great to see games from other nations being posted, keep up the good work RD!!!

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AJ_Capote November 14, 2013 3:18 pm

This was a good contest. Struck me that the Maori had such bigger athletes, they were constantly smashing the US back in the tackle and clearing out in the ruck area. Guess the US got pounded into submission in the end. Looks like the US have a great backline but need some more nous and physicality in the forwards. Surely there's a few ex-college footballers who fancy giving rugby a crack?

On an aside, funny hearing from the RL World Cup how well attended the games have been, on average between 7-9,000 fans per game. This was a game between a 2nd string major team and a lower ranked team which pulled 18,000 - in an area which isn't even a rugby heartland! Well played US. Hope their team keeps improving :)

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dave November 15, 2013 1:51 am

aj,
I'm from canada and up here you can't escape hearing about the nfl
an interesting thing I heard was that because making the nfl from college is so competitive that several serious athletes are on the outside looking in by the time college is over
so the nfl and other backers are going to make an effort to convince these athletes to switch over to give rugby a try to improve their athletic talent base
the US has a chance of being a really serious threat
and for us canadians I wish they never switched the grey cup from a rugby trophy to a gridiron trophy, for all we know we could have had a rugby union/ league competition continuing on from the one that ended in the 1920's, I would expect that would have made us better than we currently are

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