Not to win the whole thing obviously, but maybe take down Tonga and (less likely) Samoa? I don’t know much about the caliber of the Eagles, though I understand it’s way below even second-tier teams, the only international rugby I watch much of is Six Nations.
I’m sure we’ll get mauled by South Africa and England, but what about the two Polynesian countries?
I’ve never watched a rugby match and have only read a couple news articles, and even I know the U.S. is going to get crushed by its upcoming opponents in the World Cup. That is, unless they kidnap Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, and other similiar NFL guys and convince them to play rugby.
You would have a chance against Tonga and Samoa, but the team must be prepared to be hit very hard in the tackles as those guys are like human cannonballs hitting you! I don’t think you will have a chance against South Africa, England, Australia, France, New Zealand
The US have been quite impressive at the recent LA sevens. Good strong runners and hard tacklers… the problem is that they’re not used to having very hard opposition, especially for 90 minutes.
The polynesians are notorious for their constant physical presence and have ruffled many of the top teams with this. Plus with runners like Rupini Caucau ( a 105kg winger who does a 10 sec 100m) it’s going to be very hard to defend against them.
The best thing about rugby is that every team always has a chance… I can’t wait to get this show on the road.
I agree with what swiss said. US has done very well in the world 7s series over the past year, but 7s is a very different game. We might be able to take advantage of the ability to find gaps and make line breaks against Samoa and Tonga, but our pack will be gassed by half time and I don’t think our back line has the necessary size to compete.
On the other hand England and South Africa just play a smarter game (well, ok, England not necessarily, although I’m interested to see what happens tomorrow against France).
Even if our fitness, strategy, coaching, and overall level of talent are better, those two games will come down to the simple fact that most the Eagles never touched a rugby ball until college, whereas the Brits and South Africans probably started watching and playing the game as small children.
Much the same as the US soccer world cup team, we’ve got the talent, and the athleticism, we just don’t have the experienced players. We don’t grow up watching world class rugby or even playing youth rugby.
On the other hand, I can’t tell you how excited I’ll be if the US somehow manages to pull off an upset of the Brits of the Boks. Or better yet, make it out of group play. I don’t really know what it would do for the sport in the US, but if it at least made the news or gained enough popularity to have the occasional midnight match shown on ESPN 18 (God forbid an actual sport displace poker or friggin nascar on ESPN) I’d be happy.
Anyway, I’ll be watching and pulling for the Eagles, but Ireland’s my other team, and they’ve actually got a shot at winning the bloody thing, so they’ll get most my support.