Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
Team USA’s struggles from Day 1 at the Wellington 7’s continued into the Bowl Quarterfinals as they were beaten soundly by Scotland 24-7. Scotland’s Andrew Skeen scored two tries to pace the Scots. The USA were on the verge of being shutout before Zach Test scored in extra time to avoid the whitewashing.
Having been relegated to the Shield, USA faced off against their old rivals Canada. Another loss for the USA would have been disastrous. Canada didn’t waste any time, scoring within the first couple of minutes into the game and taking a 7-0 lead.
Fortunately, Team USA recovered and rolled off 31 unanswered points to blow out the Canadians. Tai Enosa scored two tries and kicked three conversions to lead the USA. Roland Suniula and Zach Test each scored tries and Justin Boyd scored his first try since returning from injury.
The blowout over Canada gives the USA North American braggings rights and dodges a major bullet for the team. However, another trip to the Shield is nothing to get too excited over. The Shield finalists are among the worst four teams in every tournament and not a place the USA should be. Especially not for two consecutive tournaments.
On the bright side, the USA didn’t pick up their first World Series points last season until Las Vegas. Coincidentally enough, the the three tournament run of scoring World Series points, by the USA, began with winning the Shield in Wellington.
The USA faces off against France in the Shield Final. France advanced to the Shield final with a 52-12 win over Papua New Guinea.