Collegiate All-Americans downed by Richmond in tour opener
LONDON – The USA Rugby Collegiate All-Americans, presented by Royall Lyme, couldn’t overcome the Richmond Football Club this weekend in the first match of their three match tour of England. The All-Americans lost with a final score of 36-12.
The All-Americans played a solid first half, with scores level going into halftime with 12 points apiece. However, Richmond scored a try early in the second half to put the All-Americans under pressure. Unfortunately for the Americans, the Richmond pressure would prove to be insurmountable for as Richmond would go on to score 24 points in the second half.
All-American forwards coach and all-time caps leader for the Eagles, Luke Gross, wanted to see how the boys would do in the pressure of a match and he will surely have a lot to think about over the next two days. Gross’s pack was up against it even before the opening whistle as the team is without star forwards such as Eagle player Tony Purpura. University of Oklahoma standout, Taylor Mokate was named man of the match, but will need help from the rest of the pack to muscle up to the formidable Saracens Academy side. While Gross was proud of the effort put forth by the forwards, there is much work to be done before their next match this Wednesday.
Head coach Alex Magleby will have two days to develop and tweak a game plan for the side’s next match on Wednesday. The Saracens Academy is a development team, the equivalent of a farm team in baseball, which feeds quality players to the fully professional Saracens team who compete in the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup.
In the audience will be a few faces familiar to the All-Americans as Eagles head coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, will be in attendance. Also, Eagles Hayden Smith and Chris Wyles play professionally for Saracens, so they might pop over to see their up-and-coming colleagues (from both their international side and their professional team) battle it out on the pitch.