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USA Rugby

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 20 Jun 2018, 16:07

High Performance took a chance on Psalm Wooching. If Iosefa is committed to playing rugby and they have the national representation conversation he will get his shot during the APC. Would like to see him play some Summer 7s following this weekend when the SaberCats season is over.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby welshdragon2000 » Wed, 20 Jun 2018, 18:06

Thoughts on Paul Lasike? Is he the 12 that the USA need? I thought his performance was excellent against Scotland in defence and attack. He punches the ball up over the gain line incredibly well and some of his hits were fantastic. Never seen Iosefa play before but I see that he scored on his first touch in the MLR and he looks like another big unit of a man like Lasike. Perhaps he would be a good option to bring off the bench against tiring defences.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 20 Jun 2018, 18:21

welshdragon2000 wrote:Thoughts on Paul Lasike? Is he the 12 that the USA need? I thought his performance was excellent against Scotland in defence and attack. He punches the ball up over the gain line incredibly well and some of his hits were fantastic. Never seen Iosefa play before but I see that he scored on his first touch in the MLR and he looks like another big unit of a man like Lasike. Perhaps he would be a good option to bring off the bench against tiring defences.


Paul has come leaps and bounds since earning his first cap fitness wise where he took some abuse. He's played a full 80 for most of Utah's matches. He's not there yet, but I think he will be even better in November. Everyone is talking about him getting a contract overseas, I could see it happen. But I could also see him staying, there are some guys who could return to the UK and play in the Championship now.

I did wonder about Lasike playing 12 and would have gone with Campbell inside and Paul outside. But they were both amazing playing that way. We're playing some good rugby right now.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby welshdragon2000 » Wed, 20 Jun 2018, 18:58

Yes indeed, this is the best American side that I've seen and I'm rooting for them in every game. They certainly have the potential to break into the top tier of rugby but there's a long way to go yet. The MLR seems to have had a fantastic affect so far in improving fitness and bringing out that bit of quality in players which was not there before. So long as the MLR is there and is improving, the national team will also improve. They just need to kick on now and build on what they've achieved so far, the 7s world cup may help the growth of the game and a successful world cup next year would mean significant gain.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 20 Jun 2018, 19:54

TheStroBro wrote:
welshdragon2000 wrote:Thoughts on Paul Lasike? Is he the 12 that the USA need? I thought his performance was excellent against Scotland in defence and attack. He punches the ball up over the gain line incredibly well and some of his hits were fantastic. Never seen Iosefa play before but I see that he scored on his first touch in the MLR and he looks like another big unit of a man like Lasike. Perhaps he would be a good option to bring off the bench against tiring defences.


Paul has come leaps and bounds since earning his first cap fitness wise where he took some abuse. He's played a full 80 for most of Utah's matches. He's not there yet, but I think he will be even better in November. Everyone is talking about him getting a contract overseas, I could see it happen. But I could also see him staying, there are some guys who could return to the UK and play in the Championship now.

I did wonder about Lasike playing 12 and would have gone with Campbell inside and Paul outside. But they were both amazing playing that way. We're playing some good rugby right now.


Lasike has been outstanding. Campbell has not been in his best form either in MLR or with the Eagles this year. Too often looks for contact when there is space or an overlap outside of him. He wasn't doing that last year with the Eagles so should be a fairly easy fix.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 20 Jun 2018, 20:20

Coloradoan wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:
welshdragon2000 wrote:Thoughts on Paul Lasike? Is he the 12 that the USA need? I thought his performance was excellent against Scotland in defence and attack. He punches the ball up over the gain line incredibly well and some of his hits were fantastic. Never seen Iosefa play before but I see that he scored on his first touch in the MLR and he looks like another big unit of a man like Lasike. Perhaps he would be a good option to bring off the bench against tiring defences.


Paul has come leaps and bounds since earning his first cap fitness wise where he took some abuse. He's played a full 80 for most of Utah's matches. He's not there yet, but I think he will be even better in November. Everyone is talking about him getting a contract overseas, I could see it happen. But I could also see him staying, there are some guys who could return to the UK and play in the Championship now.

I did wonder about Lasike playing 12 and would have gone with Campbell inside and Paul outside. But they were both amazing playing that way. We're playing some good rugby right now.


Lasike has been outstanding. Campbell has not been in his best form either in MLR or with the Eagles this year. Too often looks for contact when there is space or an overlap outside of him. He wasn't doing that last year with the Eagles so should be a fairly easy fix.


In this match specifically that was part of part of the plan. Using Joe, Samu, Paul, and Bryce to drive up tackle counts. It definitely worked. I don't think that needs to be what they do against Canada, easily can play a wider game.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 20 Jun 2018, 21:10

TheStroBro wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:
welshdragon2000 wrote:Thoughts on Paul Lasike? Is he the 12 that the USA need? I thought his performance was excellent against Scotland in defence and attack. He punches the ball up over the gain line incredibly well and some of his hits were fantastic. Never seen Iosefa play before but I see that he scored on his first touch in the MLR and he looks like another big unit of a man like Lasike. Perhaps he would be a good option to bring off the bench against tiring defences.


Paul has come leaps and bounds since earning his first cap fitness wise where he took some abuse. He's played a full 80 for most of Utah's matches. He's not there yet, but I think he will be even better in November. Everyone is talking about him getting a contract overseas, I could see it happen. But I could also see him staying, there are some guys who could return to the UK and play in the Championship now.

I did wonder about Lasike playing 12 and would have gone with Campbell inside and Paul outside. But they were both amazing playing that way. We're playing some good rugby right now.


Lasike has been outstanding. Campbell has not been in his best form either in MLR or with the Eagles this year. Too often looks for contact when there is space or an overlap outside of him. He wasn't doing that last year with the Eagles so should be a fairly easy fix.


In this match specifically that was part of part of the plan. Using Joe, Samu, Paul, and Bryce to drive up tackle counts. It definitely worked. I don't think that needs to be what they do against Canada, easily can play a wider game.


May have been the plan for this match, but in general this year that has been a major issue for him. The San Diego-Glendale MLR match was probably the best example I can think of.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Thu, 21 Jun 2018, 02:49

Iosefa can’t really be compared to Lasike. Lasike is a fully developed rugby player. Iosefa is impressive in his few touches in MLR but doesn’t look ready for a step up where he’d have more responsibilities and stronger defenses.

Just will take time but clearly has the physical tools.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Tobar » Thu, 21 Jun 2018, 13:29

Regarding Lasike vs Iosefa - it’s important to note that Lasike grew up in NZ, went to BYU then converted to football before coming back. Iosefa played rugby in high school in (I think) American Samoa but as far as I know he hasn’t played since then.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Tobar » Thu, 21 Jun 2018, 15:12

Lasike is also of Tongan descent - I don’t think he has a Tongan passport but if he does then I’d imagine his European opportunities would open up quite nicely. I have a feeling that he wouldn’t want to move after just 1 year but that’s just a gut feeling - if you’re offered a 10x salary increase in a better competition you take the deal.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Thu, 21 Jun 2018, 17:00

From his interview he also doesn’t have a green card yet so he may prefer to stay in the US long enough to get one with his wife and kid(s).

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Tobar » Thu, 21 Jun 2018, 20:54

Yeah that's important too. He apparently has a few young kids (he is Mormon after all). It's tough to make a move like this if you have a family of 3 or 4, plus his family would be able to stay at the home of Mormonism which may be ideal for him. Though he could do what Joe Taufete'e is doing and live overseas during the season away from his family.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby welshdragon2000 » Thu, 21 Jun 2018, 21:01

Team for Saturday: (1-15 descending)
FRY
FAWSITT
MULLEN
MANOA
CIVETTA
LANDRY
GERMISHUYS
DOLAN
DAVIES
MACGINTY
AUGSPURGER
LASIKE
BRACHE
SCULLY (C)
HOOLEY

I was comparing this with the team that started the World Cup qualifier against Canada last year and only Civetta, Dolan, Augspurger (different position) and MacGinty retain their places. Big changes in just a year for the Eagles and big progress made by them

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Fri, 22 Jun 2018, 10:36

Just piping up to say I also thought Lasike was great, and has definitely lead on the field for the Warriors during MLR (infact I think the Warriors missed his direction hugely v NOLA and probably would've got the W if he'd been around.). He looked pretty green in the ARC but has definitely got into his rhythm with his all round play, not just a few hit ups here and there. He's actually impressed me with the intelligence of his play. Everyone talks about his power but he is running excellent lines, is good in support, and reads in D (that has saved Utah multiple times in MLR games), and has shown good technique in tne tackles around the shoelaces in the large amount of those style tackles he's made.

Just wanted to say I thought Shaun Davies, alongside McGinty had an excellent match. Fantastic control, and leadership in driving the team around the park. And yes, the USA played like a composed T1 team so it was funny to see SCO make some T2 like errors under the pressure. That composure, at the higher international tempo, whether it's in the unit skills lineouts, scrums (and yes it was great to see a US team stand up and not give an achilles heel for the opposition to feed off), or in decision making in open play is what separates T1 v T2, and it looks like USA finally showed they can swim in the deep end.

IRE in Dublin. What a massive challenge that will be! After the SCO result IRE won't be taking the US lightly, and gees, the ABs will have a huge task to win there let alone the US so I think that might be a tough day for you guys. It might be a bridge too far at this stage of your development. IRE in Dublin will be a completely different beast to SCO in Houston. While it's great the US is getting a T1 game I kinda wish it had been v ITA or WAL who I would be more confident of a good challenge against (ITA being at bit of a lower level than other 6N teams, and WAL sometimes struggling in Nov games eg v JPN, GEO, and PI)

I think you could go close or even get the W v Maori ABs though IF you can get the best squad together and enough time to prepare. I certainly expect a much better and closer game than last time. I don't see the Maori ABs as being any better than that SCO team overall, infact I'm sure the forwards, front five anyway won't be as strong, so they may infact be a bit weaker (probably will offer more in back attack.)

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Fri, 22 Jun 2018, 15:38

YamahaKiwi wrote:Just piping up to say I also thought Lasike was great, and has definitely lead on the field for the Warriors during MLR (infact I think the Warriors missed his direction hugely v NOLA and probably would've got the W if he'd been around.). He looked pretty green in the ARC but has definitely got into his rhythm with his all round play, not just a few hit ups here and there. He's actually impressed me with the intelligence of his play. Everyone talks about his power but he is running excellent lines, is good in support, and reads in D (that has saved Utah multiple times in MLR games), and has shown good technique in tne tackles around the shoelaces in the large amount of those style tackles he's made.

Just wanted to say I thought Shaun Davies, alongside McGinty had an excellent match. Fantastic control, and leadership in driving the team around the park. And yes, the USA played like a composed T1 team so it was funny to see SCO make some T2 like errors under the pressure. That composure, at the higher international tempo, whether it's in the unit skills lineouts, scrums (and yes it was great to see a US team stand up and not give an achilles heel for the opposition to feed off), or in decision making in open play is what separates T1 v T2, and it looks like USA finally showed they can swim in the deep end.

IRE in Dublin. What a massive challenge that will be! After the SCO result IRE won't be taking the US lightly, and gees, the ABs will have a huge task to win there let alone the US so I think that might be a tough day for you guys. It might be a bridge too far at this stage of your development. IRE in Dublin will be a completely different beast to SCO in Houston. While it's great the US is getting a T1 game I kinda wish it had been v ITA or WAL who I would be more confident of a good challenge against (ITA being at bit of a lower level than other 6N teams, and WAL sometimes struggling in Nov games eg v JPN, GEO, and PI)

I think you could go close or even get the W v Maori ABs though IF you can get the best squad together and enough time to prepare. I certainly expect a much better and closer game than last time. I don't see the Maori ABs as being any better than that SCO team overall, infact I'm sure the forwards, front five anyway won't be as strong, so they may infact be a bit weaker (probably will offer more in back attack.)


Funny thing that people talk about Lasike...guy played Rugby his whole life until he was signed by the Bears. So we're talking about one of the highest Rugby IQs on the team. It's just his fitness that needs to get there, and it was pretty close to there during this tour. He will be a world class player in short work no doubt.

I look at the fall tour, my expectations have shift a bit...but the W-L remains the same. Push the Maori hard, beat them up, if we don't win it's whatever as long as we play a good match. Tonga and Romania, get the W. Ireland, be competitive, attack, attack. Don't think a win is in the cards, but with this team we're not that far off. The real question of the program is not the 40 top American players...it's that we don't have much behind them.

ETA: USA V. CAN preview https://youtu.be/pWDrfbgGMI8

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Fri, 22 Jun 2018, 21:16

Yeah there's no way Lasike could've gotten anything like that good just crossing over without having played a good deal before.

Yeah if you can get 2, possibly 3 Ws in Nov, that's a successful fall tour. I worry about IRE game a little. It would've been better if it was the 2nd game, the guys were still fresh, and you could get it out of the way and focus on TON & ROM games, which in a way are more important, esp the TON one. Instead IRE comes as the biggest challenge, and last game of the year. Gold will really have to manage the team very carefully on that tour. If guys come into that game tired it might not be a pretty spectacle.

You say attack, attack, attack, but you've got to still have a platform to do that from and there's no doubt they'll come for you (and us) up front, just as they've done v Aust. They've got a great forward pack at the mo, very physical and technically excellent. Quite frankly the last time we played them in Dublin we only got out of there with a W due to staunch D and a couple of moments of backs brilliance. Our best tight five got outplayed. And looking at the June games, I think their forward pack has looked a cut above ours. If they'd been playing us we could've been in trouble.

Talking about the scrum, the one time it faltered, in like the 75th min, immediately the US came under pressure for that last 5 mins. If they had won that scrum near halfway, they could've put the ball down deep in Scotland's 22 and forced 'em to play from there. Just shows you with T1 teams even if you've battled nicely for 75 if they see a potential weakness they'll go for it, and it almost cost the US the W. The US was still better composed than JPN who were in a similar situation in 2016 leading the Scots at about the 70min mark, but a very poor last 10mins cost them the W in that game. It was interesting to contrast the two teams performances v same opponent for that period of the game.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 00:58

Keep in mind Maori will be before the window so likely more of a domestic team and with 3 full tests in the window, no reason to make compromises to bring guys back early.

I think it’s great to play Ireland at home because this is all preparation for the WC. We have 3 genuine T1 opponents and Tonga. We need to be playing that caliber of opponent when we can between now and then so the players understand what that means. That’s why Scotland was so great. And Ireland should be better even though it’s a likely ugly L. Are we ready to play from behind against one of the best in the world? That’s the mentality players need for our pool. The side against Scotland should be quite similar in a Japan so this is all important experience together.

We only have a few more chances for this type of competition. November and next summer in July. APC in October will be about testing depth of young promising players (some may squeeze for a spot in a November). Maori will similarly be a challenge for our best available domestic side. Proving who deserves to go on tour with the overseas internationals. Then you have 2-3 strong tests.

Next winter is the ARC which should really be similar to the APC but with more guys already proven. Then the next time our full squad assembles it’ll be 1 month before the WC. I don’t believe in gradual build up. We won’t build up to england / France / Argentina. We need that level of competition now.

Also regarding the scrum I think that was a testament to the drop off behind Taufetee as well as Mullen. Taufetee is just a monster. He is our biggest front rower at 130 kg. Having that gives us a real advantage I think. Especially where Turner is more your typical athletic Hooker at maybe 110 kg. Worth also shouting out Manoa who is also a very strong lock. Have seen in the past our scrum crumble just by losing him.

This would be why depth is so important to make sure we have a credible sub when playing a T1 opponent

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 01:13

About the Maori game that's why I said "IF". I don't believe a domestic only side has a realistic chance of competing and getting a W in that game despite the already good work of the MLR. As I said the Maori will be of comparable quality to that Scottish team so a team with at least most of the Euro-resident pros is a must, and enough time together pre-match also necessary (unlike the few days before the 2014 ABs game). Given the Chicago event is a big one with all games at Soldier Field I'd be very disappointed if a largely domestic only side turned up for this game. Personally, if I was a US fan potentially interested in going to the triple header I'd be turned off going if I knew most or all the overseas pros were going to be missing. When you've got a big event, the worst thing for a fan is for them to perceive they've been sold short.

I think the US and Gold can afford to negotiate and get some or all of their overseas pros for the Maori game if they can rotate the team selections smartly, and of course they don't suffer a big number of injuries. I'd be looking at maybe having overseas pros v Maori but maybe releasing them, or some of them, back to their clubs for say Romania (no offense to the Oaks who won't be a walkover in Bucuresti but) etc. Guess we'll see what comes out in the wash...

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Deadtigers » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 03:18

Lasike still looks a little heavy to me. I don't know many successful 12s that big but maybe it is a height thing.

My other concern is with Lasike and Campbell in the centers that means we need a passing 10 that can hit the 15 and wings because 2 hard chargers are great but you lose a bit of guile. So you have to have a play making 15. This works well with Hooley but what happens with AJ is unavailable? Marie hasn't sold me on his ability to play it as he sees it. Maybe Hooley at 10 and Teo at 15?

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 04:23

Deadtigers wrote:Lasike still looks a little heavy to me. I don't know many successful 12s that big but maybe it is a height thing.

My other concern is with Lasike and Campbell in the centers that means we need a passing 10 that can hit the 15 and wings because 2 hard chargers are great but you lose a bit of guile. So you have to have a play making 15. This works well with Hooley but what happens with AJ is unavailable? Marie hasn't sold me on his ability to play it as he sees it. Maybe Hooley at 10 and Teo at 15?


The Ford-Farrell combo has lost England a lot of games. Premium on defense.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby ihateblazers » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 04:50

In the modern game the playmaking axis at 10-12 only really seems to be effective for the ozzies as they are able to stay square and utilise the second wave attack well I think because it is such a long used system of theirs.

Most teams who use it seem to attack fairly laterally and lack go forward in most instances. The English for example use it more as a literal second flyhalf option with the decision making option rather than playmaking one and also tactical kicking option.

I like the playmaking option at 15 as your able to use the player more as more of a pivot to go wide in the second wave and still use your centres as strike runners and decoys like Gold does with Lasike and Cambell or the Allblacks do.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Deadtigers » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 16:05

I don't want Ford-Farrell, I just meant that usually runs through people and another that ghost through a gap. The Aussies like to use a playmaking 12 and charging 13. The Kiwis had Nonu and Smith, even Ireland when BOD was at his best had a Maggs/Horgan/Darcy and a Rob something. That is all.

I thought maybe Ardsley would be considered. But Gold is a Saffa and they have no quarrels about a two hard runners in the centers. Saffas like to have kicking 10 and playmaking 15 so he is definitely fine with this system.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 17:15

Deadtigers wrote:I don't want Ford-Farrell, I just meant that usually runs through people and another that ghost through a gap. The Aussies like to use a playmaking 12 and charging 13. The Kiwis had Nonu and Smith, even Ireland when BOD was at his best had a Maggs/Horgan/Darcy and a Rob something. That is all.

I thought maybe Ardsley would be considered. But Gold is a Saffa and they have no quarrels about a two hard runners in the centers. Saffas like to have kicking 10 and playmaking 15 so he is definitely fine with this system.

Audsley not on the roster this week makes me think he picked up a small injury. He made the trip to Halifax, only one on crutches in the airport when I talked to the team was Quill.

Audsley and Campbell on the pitch together was a playmaking pair in the centers. Takes away another kicker, but with what they're trying to do which is more or less to play to American strengths are powerful running and great defense in the midfield. Campbell has been a better distributor than I've seen in the past from him during this season for the Raptors so I figured you would have Lasike on the outside.

We don't need a playmaker at 15 necessarily...it's bloody nice to have though. I don't see this as a problem, powerful running and hard defenders in your centers is what you want. Whereas the current 2nd 5/8s I watch with Ford-Farrell has two fly-halves that can't tackle. Cipriani been great today though.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 18:31

ihateblazers wrote:In the modern game the playmaking axis at 10-12 only really seems to be effective for the ozzies as they are able to stay square and utilise the second wave attack well I think because it is such a long used system of theirs.

Most teams who use it seem to attack fairly laterally and lack go forward in most instances. The English for example use it more as a literal second flyhalf option with the decision making option rather than playmaking one and also tactical kicking option.

I like the playmaking option at 15 as your able to use the player more as more of a pivot to go wide in the second wave and still use your centres as strike runners and decoys like Gold does with Lasike and Cambell or the Allblacks do.


I mean England did win two 6N in a row and almost break the T1 world record win streak, its pretty harsh to not call that effective. For all the losses in the first two tests against SA it wasn't really the backs that were the problem in either test.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 23 Jun 2018, 20:02

sk 88 wrote:
I mean England did win two 6N in a row and almost break the T1 world record win streak, its pretty harsh to not call that effective. For all the losses in the first two tests against SA it wasn't really the backs that were the problem in either test.

The backs are always the problem :lol:

FT Eagles over Canada: http://www.earfulofdirt.com/2018/06/as- ... 42-17.html

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