It’s been a while since I last had time to write, so here’s the latest from the world of US rugby.
The imminent final games of the USA 7’s seem as appropriate a starting point as any. Although I wasn’t able to attend this year, from my friends accounts and my overstuffed DVR, I thought the way the tournament is being presented is great. The broadcast feels more mature and settled in as more and more viewers gain a sense and interest for the game.
From a play perspective, the final between New Zealand and Samoa produced a thrilling and fitting end to the tournament; stellar rugby from by two great teams.
As for the Eagles… their games in Wellington went poorly, but at 5-0 games down, they had a manageable pool when they came to Vegas. However, the best they could manage 1-4 come the end of the group stage, with a lone victory over France. Still, a win is a win and the Eagles were also in with a fighting chance of beating Canada, Argentina, and Australia in their respective. Much to learn, much to improve on, but also much to proud of.
Regardless, something seems awry in the US camp. Although the team is young, some squad members have been fixtures on the side for over 2 years, and the lapses we have been simply aren’t good enough.
A team with flashes of brilliance may have satisfied 5 years ago, but nowadays fans demand more consistency. Seeing Canada has surpassed us is also worth noting; with it comes the realisation that the Eagles are playing well below the standards of a core team if they want to be competitive, particularly when viewed against other teams in the Americas.
Moving forward, the USA is going to play host to the Junior World Trophy, hosted in Salt Lake City.The games won’t draw the crowds of larger tournaments, but any chance for the team to stretch their legs and get solid game time throughout the team in the face of the challenges they’re facing is no bad thing.