BOULDER, Colo. – In a weekend where the Eagles saw only one win during the six game tournament, and finished with a loss against Scotland in the Shield Final, the team is looking to re-emphasize cohesion and minimize costly mistakes heading into round two of the series.
“When we strayed away from the game plan, we struggled”, said coach Alex Magleby. “We had small chunks of good play, but many times we were not all on the same page and we created a few turnovers which cost us the game.”
The Eagles began the weekend with a strong showing against New Zealand, the tournament’s second place finishers, but came up short with a final score of 19-7.
In their second match against South Africa the Eagles seemed as if they might keep it close after the first half, but costly mistakes across the board ended the match 33-5. Those same mistakes followed the Eagles into their game against Canada where knock-ons and poor defense allowed Canada 22 points. The final score was 22-12.
“The big challenge after day one was to build up confidence for our match against Wales,” said Magelby. “We rebounded pretty well, but a few guys went off-script and we didn’t commit to the cause together.” Wales defeated the Eagles 27-19, but some of the scoring momentum from the match carried over to give the Eagles their only win against Tonga in the Shield semifinal. Tries from Carlin Isles, Luke Hume, Maka Unufe and Tai Enosa put the final score at 33-26, and sent the Eagles into the Shield final.
Unfortunately, the Eagles underperformed in the last match of the weekend with a 40-5 loss against Scotland.
“Our match against Scotland was arguably the worst performance we gave in terms of commitment to the cause,” said Magleby. “We let ourselves down and a collection of the errors we’d made throughout the tournament resurfaced.”
The Eagles will return to training on October 22 as they prepare for round 2 of the IRB World Series in Dubai November 30-December 1.