Sunday Jun 17, 2018 USA edge Scotland in dramatic first ever victory over a tier one nation

USA edge Scotland in dramatic first ever victory over a tier one nation
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It’s taken several attempts, but the US have finally claimed their first victory over a tier one opponent. The match came down to the wire and ended in dramatic fashion with Scotland missing a last-chance conversion, sealing the match for the Eagles 30-29. 

On a steamy night in Houston, the visitors looked to extend their winning ways over the US and were poised to do just that, taking a 24-13 lead into the break.

However, the Eagles got off to a quick start in the second half with a try from Worcester prop Joe Taufete’e and solid work from Sale Sharks’ AJ MacGinty.

The key moment for the US came midway through the second half. After some back and forth kicking, Scotland’s Matt Fagerson mishandled a MacGinty high ball, thereby allowing the chasing fly half to pounce and find Hanco Germishuys for the go-ahead score. 

Scotland refused to go away, however, and after one dramatic disallowed try, finally went over for the score through replacement Dougie Fife. 

All that remained was the conversion, with Blair Kinghorn’s kick set up to win the match…

Pundits will no doubt add qualifiers to the result but – make no mistake – this is a huge result for USA rugby. The Eagles have now won nine of their last ten matches, with the loss being by one point against Georgia during that stretch, another rapidly-rising tier 2 nation.

In terms of respectability, Major League Rugby and this signature win should help USA rugby to continue heading in the right direction. Hopefully, this will be a major turning-point. 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

Credit: USA Rugby/USA Today Sports/ScottishRugby

10 Comments

  •  larry
    larry

    Glad we could finally win a game against a Tier One nation. It's been forty-two years in the making. Why Houston as a venue I don't know. It gets awfully hot by the middle of June there. San Francisco would have been a better venue. Much cooler weather. In fact the WC 7s is at AT&T Park next month, but the pitch is going to be somewhat shorter for international standards. The baseball Giants were even on the road on the 17th, and of course they are going to be on the road when the WC 7s is played in late July. By the way Soldier Field in Chicago was not a full-sized pitch for the NZ V Ireland match in Nov. of 2016 either.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Ah right, that was me about Kinghorn, however he has 3 caps, 11 points at top level. He also has caps at U18 and U20 as well as points. Tie in the fact he has 63 appearances for Edinburgh and a lot of points for them and I'd say that his minimal senior appearances are not exactly the true tale. Especially when you consider he was playing USA, not ANY tier 1 nation...

    Reply
  •  leggaj5
    leggaj5

    Talk about sour grapes!

    Reply
  •  nhunter
    nhunter

    Just to qualify all the above comments that couldn't be denied, Scotland have, for the first time since 99, a good set of players that have now proven themselves for a few seasons in the test arena. However, outside the squad, our strength in depth is pretty poor, and means we are at big risks from injury in modern rugby seasons. This tour was about taking the wider pool across the pond and seeing how they got on. Better to learn here than at the RWC. As it turned out, it was a pretty good test match - the US played exceptionally well, and will be a big force to be reckoned with in the future (finally) - the 10 really is of exceptional quality. Just such a shame I haven't seen any real coverage in US media - I have a feeling this result really passed the US by.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    If you check all past test matches between countries, I'm pretty sure you won't find an asterisk with: "but the losing team picked a weakened side so it doesn't really count". These are test matches and if teams want to build off progression, they need to win them. As you've just said, picking the right team for the occasion is part of the game. Fast team for a fast game, slow team for a dogged game at the bare bones minimum, but whatever happens, you need the win. I'm sure USA will relish the win, but I reckon they may have felt somewhat disrespected if there were 1st string players available that weren't picked. That probably made their victory even sweeter. The only thing left for Scotland to do is pick their best side and really take it to Argentina, but it won't help them safe face against USA.

    Reply
  •  rialknis
    rialknis

    I agree aswell. Even though I thought Hastings and Horne did well on their first starts, I still was worried there were too many underperforming Glasgow players in that squad

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    always helps if you actually read the article you criticise... "Pundits will no doubt add qualifiers to the result but - make no mistake - this is a huge result for USA rugby. The Eagles have now won nine of their last ten matches, with the loss being by one point against Georgia during that stretch, another rapidly-rising tier 2 nation." The qualifiers being that is wasn't a full strength side, although Stuart Hogg isn't exactly a poor player is he? In addition to that Byron Mcquigan scored 12 tries in the AP last year. A very good player. Peter Horne has been capped 33 times, Zander Fagerson 16 times, Swinson 36 times. David Denton was on the bench. This was a weakened side, but not a weak one. A full strength Scotland will always beat the USA. The USA have to beat weakened Scottish teams first before they get the chance to play a full Scotland team. This result proves that Scotland need to put a stronger team amount next time. Not a full side, but still a better side.

    Reply
  •  pickay
    pickay

    Completely agree with DrG. You've got to respect your opponent. Picking the right team for the occasion is part of the game. So if Scotland misjudged that, then I don't think that's really a good excuse, I'd rather see it as a mistake by the Scottish coaching staff.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I don't completely disagree, but Blair Kinghorn, Dougie Fife (names picked out of the article) whilst not necessarily 1st pick, are far from.an U20 experimental bunch, these are actual test match full capped players... Again, might not be the best for the position, but then chalk it up to Scotland's own damn fault for potentially not taking the test seriously. NZ have in the past fielded teams that are not their 1st picks or full strength, but they make damn sure they are going to win the match, and they answer some very harsh questions if they fall short. I love seeing Scotland do well after so many years of "nearly there", but the congratulations go to USA for this one! No doubt this will boost the interest in the sport and the confidence levels for these guys.

    Reply
  • CALM DOWN! Yeh they won but this was a 3rd string scotland team if anything, this article is trying to make it sound like theyve beaten the all blacks or spmething instead of an incredibly experimentive scotland u20 side!

    Reply

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USA edge Scotland in dramatic first ever victory over a tier one nation | RugbyDump