USA Men’s Eagles Make a Statement in Dominant Win over Brazil

WalterD Fotografía
WalterD Fotografía

The 48-3 win punched the Eagles a ticket to the Vila International Rugby Cup in Villajoyosa, Spain. The final kicks off next Saturday, Nov. 18, at 2 pm ET against either Spain or rival Canada. 

The Eagles dominated the pitch on Saturday, and Joe Mano was a standout on his debut, scoring three tries within the first 33 minutes of the game. The overall dominance and confidence is a bright light for the program's future, and will help the USA as they prepare for the Vila International Rugby Cup Final next weekend. 

Comments from interim head coach Scott Lawrence: “We’re pleased for Joe Mano in scoring a hat trick on debut. Eagle #569 showed up to play this evening. We’ll recover now and take a hard look at the 1 in 60 adjustments for next weekend”

Match Recap

The Eagles began with the early attacking opportunity to strike within the first two minutes. Joe Mano was waiting on the wing and scored with his first touch of the ball. He went on to score two more tries to earn a hat trick in his first international cap for the USA, in part thanks to some fantastic support work by his teammates. Mano easily proved his worth on the left side with his quick feet and ability to finish plays over the try line.

Brazil were urgent on their attack early on, and some USA mistakes in defense earned them two chances for a penalty kick - one of which was successful for the only points Brazil would score. 

There was a lot of exchange in possession, with both Brazil and the USA kicking out of their territories. The USA kept up the kicking strategy throughout the game so Brazil would have to restart deep in their territory, giving the Eagles more time to take back possession.

The Eagles’ dominance continued in the first half, with a textbook line out to maul that ended in phases over to Tommaso Boni for five points. Brazil struggled in their own set pieces, and the referee called throws not straight several times to give possession back over to the Eagles. On attack, a slow ball allowed the Eagles to come forward to put the pressure on with quick line speed. 

Brazil were quick to start in the second half with some renewed energy, and they ran down USA territory. Their quick ball carrying brought them close to a try, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity before the USA took back the ball. The Eagles’ urgency on attack paid off, and some phase play off a line out got the ball to Nate Augspurger, who wrestled away to pass to Tommaso Boni who ran down field to add another five to the USA lead. 

With a half hour left in game play, the Eagles were up by 19 points. Brazil lost both hookers due ot injury, and the referee decided they were to play down one man. Any scrums for the remainder of the game were to be uncontested. With an unforeseen advantage, the USA had more opportunity to increase the score gap. 

Brazil kept up the long kicking game, but the USA held on and with good support and fresh off the bench, Thomas Tu’avao scored a try off clinical phase play. Despite the unlucky circumstances, Brazil kept up energy in attack but were unable to make anything happen with ball in hand. The Eagles kept up dominance in the line outs, winning Brazil’s and staying clinical in their own. 

With the big score gap, the USA looked at different plays. Luke Carty kicked a successful 50-22, but the not straight line out gave it back to Brazil. The Eagles took back the ball and made their way toward the try line again, but the ball went loose and dead, so Brazil chose a 22-meter drop out.

Landing in USA hands, Lauina Futi found plenty of space for a try of his own, and it was Dominic Besag who scored the final try of the match after running through a gap in Brazil’s defense. Chris Mattina kicked the final conversion to end the game 48-3.

With all eight tries on the day coming from players to have debuted only this year, the dominant final score was a testament to the young fire power the Men’s Eagles program has up and coming. The offensive showing was well paired with a more open style of play Lawrence and staff have brought to the playbook in 2023. Overall, a confident win on the back end of the international season is exciting for the squad and fans alike. 

More details on next week’s match opponent will be shared following the second semifinal between Canada and Spain. The USA will however kickoff at 2pm ET on RugbyPass TV. 

Name Club Caps
1. Jack Iscaro Old Glory DC 6
2. Dylan Fawsitt New York Ironworkers 26
3. Alex Maughan MLR (Los Angeles) 2
4. Nate Brakeley (C) New York Ironworkers 33
5. Cam Dolan NOLA Gold 67
6. Sam Golla Dallas Jackals 4
7. Paddy Ryan Coventry (UK) 4
8. Luke White Chicago Hounds 4
9. Nick McCarthy Chicago Hounds 4
10. Luke Carty Chicago Hounds 15
11. Nate Augspurger (VC) San Diego Legion 40
12. Tommaso Boni Zebre (ITA) 3
13. Tavite Lopeti Seattle Seawolves 11
14. Joseph Mano Utah Warriors 1
15. Chris Mattina Chicago Hounds 2
16. Peter Malcolm Seattle Seawolves 14
17. Jake Turnbull Seattle Seawolves 4
18. David Ainu’u Toulouse (FRA) 21
19. Viliami Helu San Diego Legion 5
20. Thomas Tu’avao Utah Warriors 4
21. Michael Baska Chicago Hounds 4
22. Dominic Besag St. Mary’s College 2
23. Lauina Futi Seattle Seawolves 3

USA Men’s Eagles Staff

Scott Lawrence | Head Coach

Alama Ieremia | Assistant Coach - Attack

Nick Easter | Assistant Coach - Forwards and Defense

Blake Bradford | Assistant Coach - Scrum

Elvis Seveali’i | Assistant Coach - Individual Skills Development

Alex Ross | Head of Athlete Performance

Jimmy Harrison | Head Analyst

Kristen Douhan | Head Physiotherapist

Jenn Roney | Athletic Trainer

Daliah Hurwitz | Sports Massage Therapist

Matt Schmitz | Team Doctor

Oscar Alvarez | Team Manager

Vila International Rugby Cup Match schedule

November 11, 2023

Match 1 - USA v Brazil | 48-3 (W)

2:00PM ET - Match 2 - Spain v Canada

November 18, 2023

10:00AM ET - Loser Match 1 v Loser Match 2 (Third place play-off)

2:00PM ET - Winner Match 1 v Winner Match 2 (Final)