All Americans beat the Kiwis

Photo Credit: Dallen Stanford

By Kyle Jones, Embassy Wellington

The All American Collegiate team opened their three-match series against New Zealand Universities with a 60-17 win on Saturday.

The first game, in sunny San Diego, was a contest of physicality and thrilling athleticism.

The game started with what looked to be an overpowering offense by New Zealand, getting within inches of a try in their opening drive. Instead, they turned the ball over at the crucial moment.

The All Americans quickly scored. Thriving on compounded mistakes of dropped passes and miscommunication by New Zealand, the All Americans seemed to run away with it at the half. The big question would be whether or not they could maintain their large lead as the game began to become more physical after the half. New Zealand were clearly frustrated, culminating in a yellow card. New Zealand would continue to  show flashes of brilliance late in the half, with a few scores of their own - but it was too little too late for this match.  New Zealand was caught slightly off guard by the conditions and the sheer quality of their opponent. Both teams look to improve on their games for the upcoming match on Wednesday in Santa Barbara.

Photo Credit: Dallen Stanford

Cohesiveness and team work seemed to be a huge issue for New Zealand while the All Americans fired on all cylinders.  Their offloads seemed to find the right hands on every pass and the team communicated flawlessly through out the match.  Keep in mind both teams have had only one weeks time together before this match.  New Zealand’s roster consists of a U-21 squad from various universities within New Zealand, none of which have played together as a whole until last weekend. The All American squad being a bit older yet fielding players from universities all across the United States that in most cases playing against each other not with each other.  Both teams are looking to build on team work and just getting to know one another in preparation for their next match on wednesday .  Click here, for Blaine Scully’s thoughts on how the training camp with the Navy SEALS helped bring his team together as a unit.

Photo Credit: Kyle Jones

There were quite a few people in attendance for this match, showing support for each side. One of those being Todd Clever, USA Eagles captain, and he had this to say about the result: “It was a great showing for the All Americans today. They defended with a lot of passion and pride. They put together some great phases of rugby and scored some fantastic tries. I am very proud of the guys and hope they continue to improve for the next two games”

We also caught up with players from both sides for some post-game interviews and analysis. Look for those here soon.

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