The Runner Sports

Eagles Soar In Chile, 57-9

On a sweltering day in Santiago, Chile the Eagles appeared at home on Chile’s pitch as Los Condores’ fitness remains a significant issue.  Early mistakes and an uncoordinated attack by the US kept Chile in the game but second half reserves were as sharp as a Dan Power one-liner.

The Eagles initially seemed caught off guard by the Chilean change in tactics and the US had trouble hanging on to the ball as handling errors, missed passes, and lack of support derailed several developing attacks

Chile featured a much faster, more elusive squad, opting for speed over power to counter US athleticism, however, their own mistakes, penalties, and a shaky attack prevented Los Condores from capitalizing on US miscues early. A 17-6 halftime score could have been much closer for Chile, and should have been a US rout early, was instead frustrating error-fest for both.

The second half saw an influx of US reserves and ball handling improved as the offense shifted from outside speed attack to a blended power-first assault. Chile’s offense played too deep giving the Eagle defense time to react, punctuated by a Tony Lamborn intercepted pass for a long try.

Double try-scorer Lamborn brought his Super Rugby experience to the squad again and was all over the pitch; strong on offense, a bull on defense, and masterful at the breakdown. Several US reserves joined the starting flanker in dominating the second half. Lock David Tameilau scored a try and demonstrated his elite skills, hooker Peter Malcolm scored two tries, and young Hanco Germishuys replaced an injured Todd Clever to help shore up the Eagle defense late.

Chile is still struggling to find their rugby identity and until they start to match opponents’ fitness levels they cannot begin to match them on attack or defense.

In the end, the scoreline was inevitable, Chile never truly threatened, the US should have scored far more, and one thing is clear…the Eagles cannot play the way they did today against Argentina XV next week and expect to come away as ARC Champions.

Jason Graves
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Jason Graves

USA Rugby Writer at The Runner Sports
Just a guy with a passion for rugby. Critical thinker and problem solver who likes to write. My sports writing role model was an objective fan, the great Mike Royko!
Jason Graves
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