Thursday Sep 15, 2011 USA grind out a win over Russia in New Plymouth

USA grind out a win over Russia in New Plymouth
10
Comments

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.

10 Comments

  • 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 ;)

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  • 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 often...so, 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.

    Reply
  •  buzzkillington
    buzzkillington

    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.

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  •  rugbydump
    rugbydump

    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.

    Reply
  •  natural7
    natural7

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

    Reply
  •  natural7
    natural7

    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)

    Reply
  • 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.

    Reply
  •  moddeur
    moddeur

    Actually this link is better: http://coupe-du-monde.tf1.fr/rugby/video/liste/match-en-integralite/

    Reply

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