The USA Eagles lost 27-7 against Canada in front of a sold out crowd at Infinity Park. Despite plenty of possession and territory, it was through USA errors that allowed Canada to run in three tries during the match.
"Obviously we're very disappointed with the result. It was frustrating as we played a lot of good rugby, we dominated field position and possession, but once again like last week we let in three tries from long range turnovers. We got punished harshly, as a lot of times when we turned the ball over we had Canada in trouble. So those were big plays that went against us," said Eagles Head Coach Eddie O'Sullivan.
"I am happy with our set pieces. Our continuity is good, we're playing through a lot of phases. But we're not being clinical enough, turning over the ball at crucial times. It's something we need to fix before we get to New Zealand".
The opening points of the match came from Canadian center DTH van der Merwe who picked up a loose ball and raced 50 meters to score. Fullback James Pritchard kicked the conversion, putting Canada 7-0 up after five minutes.
The USA replied by putting some excellent phases together, getting over the advantage line with every carry. This pressure eventually resulted in two yellow cards, one for lock Jamie Cudmore and later flanker Chauncey O'Toole. Both players were penalized for not coming through the gate during a ruck.
Despite a lack of possession Pritchard added a penalty for Canada.
Down 10-0, the USA began another build-up using multiple attacking phases. This time Malifa put a deft kick through with fullback Blaine Scully sliding over to score for the home side. The capacity crowd enjoyed Malifa's sideline conversion, leaving the half time score at 10-7.
Winger Taku Ngwenya sparked the second half into action with an amazing run, beating three defenders, sending Louis Stanfill over in the corner. The television match official (TMO) adjudged that Stanfill was held up over the tryline.
The Eagles then lost Chris Biller to a yellow card for not rolling away at the ruck, with the hooker being sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. From the resulting penalty Pritchard put Canada ahead 13-7.
Paul Emerick made his second massive break of the match, slicing through the Canadian midfield. But a turnover lead to Canada's van der Merwe setting up a try for Aaron Carpenter. The Eagles had their chances later in the match, but another long range try saw winger Phil Mackenzie dot down, sealing the match 27-7.
The Eagles are set to travel to Tokyo, Japan, early on Monday morning ahead of their third RWC build-up match.
Japan - ranked 12th in the world - will host the USA at Prince Chichbu Memorial Rugby Ground on Sunday, August 21.
Final Score USA Eagles 7 Canada 27
Tries: Scully (38’)
Conversions: Malifa (39')
Yellow Card: Biller (52')
Tries: van der Merwe (4'), Carpenter (60'), Mackenzie (71')
Conversions: Pritchard (5', 61', 72')
Penalties: Pritchard (12', 53')
Yellow Card: Cudmore (18'), O'Toole (25')
15 Blaine Scully (Unattached),14 Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz),13 Paul Emerick (Life University),12 Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins),11 Colin Hawley (Olympic Club),10 Nese Malifa (Glendale),9 Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC),1 Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie),2 Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate),3 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh),4 John van der Giessen (Unattached),5 Hayden Smith (Saracens),6 Louis Stanfill (Unattached),7 Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath) *Captain,8 Nic Johnson (Unattached)
Reserves:16 Phillip Thiel (Life University),7 Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks),18 Scott LaValla (Stade Francais),19 Jonathan ‘JJ' Gagiano (Univ. of Cape Town),20 Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club),21 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby),22 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore),USA Tries: Scully (38')
Substitutions: Thiel on for Stanfill - start of yellow card (54'), Suniula on for Malifa (62'), Stanfill and Biller on for Thiel - end of yellow card (63'), Petri on for Usasz (67'), LaValla on for Smith (67'), Fry on for (73'), Enosa on for Emerick (77')
15 James Pritchard (Bedford Blues),14 Ciaran Hearn (The Rock),13 DTH van der Merwe (Glasgow Warriors),12 Mike Scholz (Ontario Blues),11 Phil Mackenzie (Esher),10 Ander Monro (Ontario Blues),9 Sean White (BC Bears),1 Hubert Buydens (Prairie Wolf Pack),2 Pat Riordan (BC Bears) *Captain,3 Jason Marshall (BC Bears),4 Jebb Sinclair (The Rock),5 Jamie Cudmore (ASM Clermont Auvergne),6 Adam Kleeberger (BC Bears),7 Chauncey O'Toole (Ospreys),8 Aaron Carpenter (Plymouth Albion)
Reserves:16 Ryan Hamilton (BC Bears),17 Andrew Tiedemann (Prairie Wolf Pack),18 Brian Erichsen (BC Bears),19 Tyler Hotson (Plymouth),20 Jamie Mackenzie (Esher),21 Ryan Smith (Prairie Wolf Pack),22 Nathan Hirayama (BC Bears)
Substitutions: Hotson on for Sinclair - blood (42'), Hamilton on for Riordan (65'), Tiedemann on for O'Toole (65'), Smith on for Scholz (66'), Hirayama on for Monro (74'), Erichsen on for Cudmore (74')