All Blacks score 16 tries to beat USA 104-14

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WASHINGTON (AP) – The All Blacks dealt a blow to American rugby at the time of its greatest ambition, posting a record 104-14 victory over an understaffed Eagles team on Saturday.

After two games in which their offense struggled against the stifling South Africa defense, the All Blacks were once again able to thrive, scoring their first try after 28 seconds in front of more than 40,000 fans at FedExField.

United States Rugby has just announced an ambitious goal of hosting the Rugby World Cup in 2027. While Saturday’s result is not important to this candidacy, it will not help encourage support for rugby in the country. at a time when sport needs it. more.

A rare bright spot for the Eagles was when scrum half Nate Augspurger became the first man to score a try for the United States against New Zealand. The test took place just before half-time when the Eagles were already leading 59-0.

“When we were excited, when we were straight up, straight up, straight up, we were able to play rugby even against the second best team in the world, the best attacking team in the world,” said Eagles captain Bryce Campbell.

There was another bright spot in the 53rd minute when winger Ryan Matyas, who played rugby in New Zealand for North Harbor Province, scored the Eagles’ second try, bringing the score to 73-14 and getting the fans on their feet.

“We always want to speed up a bit, pick up the pace,” All Blacks captain Sam Whitelock said. “It was showing. The United States has come behind us a few times and scored two good tries because of it.”

The first half had been a tough reality check for an Eagles side that many of their more experienced players missed. The game fell outside the established international “window” and the clubs were under no obligation to release players for the US team.

The All Blacks went wild from the opening kickoff they received. They immediately pushed the ball to the outside where full-back Damian McKenzie bypassed the Eagles’ compact defense and the ball moved into the inside of the field for Jacobson who scored before some fans took a seat.

This was largely the formula for the success of the All Blacks. They quickly moved the ball off all phases, set pieces and breakdowns, turnovers and used the pace of players like McKenzie and winger Will Jordan who were able to easily outgrow the defense.

There were always hands willing to bring the ball back into the field and finish, too much for the Eagles’ stretched defense. Scrum-half Finlay Christie and center Quinn Tupaea were particularly effective as first-half liaison men and the All Blacks’ finish was clinical.

Nine tries took place in the first half, two for Jacobson and two for Jordan. Others went to mainstays Ethan de Groot and Angus Ta’avao, McKenzie, Tupaea and Mo’unga who added seven conversions to end the half with 19 points.

While the All Blacks’ roster was experimental, made up mostly of players who missed out or little in the rugby championship, it had little effect on teamwork and continuity. The players were okay with attacking, and the All Blacks were at their best breaking the defensive line with shocks and support play. They were helped by the Eagles who missed 23 tackles in the first half, 52 in the game.

The All Blacks started the second half like the first, with a try in less than a minute – a second for mainstay Ta’avao.

But as they unloaded their bench, some of the first-half cohesion was lost and the Eagles, who barely touched the ball before half-time, began to see a bit more possession. and play with gusto.

New Zealand’s substitutes included regular captain Sam Cane, who was playing his first game of the season after recovering from a pectoral muscle injury.

Practice followed at a rapid pace in the first half. The All Blacks were leading 26-0 after 13 minutes, 45-0 at the half hour. But the score slowed down in the second half. At 78-14, there was a 12-minute break before the All Blacks scored again, brilliantly, thanks to Beauden Barrett who completed an 80-yard breakthrough.

It resumed almost full time as Jordan added his third try making his tally 15 of 10 games and substitutes Dane Coles and TJ Perenara scored in the last minute to take the tally past 100.

New Zealand’s victory by a record score and margin, beating their 74-6 victory in the teams’ last meeting seven years ago, was not unexpected and the Eagles are unlikely to linger for long. on defeat. The All Blacks will be disappointed with their loss of form in the second half as they head to Europe for matches against Wales, Ireland, Italy and France.

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