Friday, 28 March 2014

Team News: USA vs Uruguay RWC Americas Qualifier March 29


Team news for the second leg of the playoff between USA and Uruguay for the Americas 2 spot at the World Cup.

United States USA (27) v (27) Uruguay Uruguay
Venue: Fifth Third Bank Stadium, Kennesaw, Georgia
Kickoff: 15:00 (local time), 16:00 (Montevideo), 19:00 (GMT)

For USA: Following one of their worst performances in recent memory in the first leg, the Eagles have opted to make 3 changes for their first home Test in Atlanta, Georgia since January 1996.
Lou Stanfill

Lock Hayden Smith is dropped completely from the 23 as Lou Stanfill takes his starting position, whilst Tai Tuisamoa comes onto the bench. Wing Luke Hume returns to the starting XV ahead of Tim Maupin, who was subbed off at half time last week. The final change is centre Seamus Kelly displaces Folau Niua.

Some of the selections from Mike Tolkin appear a bit strange. He has picked a back rower at lock in Stanfill, at 104kg that selection cedes a fair amount of weight compared to either Smith or Tuisamoa. Is it wise to make the front 5 more lighweight a week after struggling in the scrum?

Tolkin also has done little to appease the section of USA fans who have accused him of playing favourites. In fact he has probably added further fuel to the fire. There are two rather debatable and marginal selections that have gone in favour of former Xavier High School pupils, the school Tolkin coached for 25 years prior to his appointment as USA coach.

Mike Petri had a poor game last weekend and was heavily criticised by some fans who wanted him dropped, but he is maintained nevertheless in the starting lineup whilst Robbie Shaw still doesn’t make the bench. Meanwhile centre Seamus Kelly comes in ahead of Niua, who has started the last 3 games.

The team barring the continued absence of the concussed Shawn Pittman is Tolkin's first choice. Last week was an abysmal performance, the worst in his reign. A convincing performance at home is very much needed to relieve pressure on certain players and coaches.

Starting XV: 15 Chris Wyles; 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Seamus Kelly, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Luke Hume; 10 Toby L'Estrange, 9 Mike Petri; 1 Olive Kilifi, 2 Phil Thiel, 3 Eric Fry; 4 Lou Stanfill, 5 Samu Manoa; 6 Todd Clever (c), 7 Scott LaValla, 8 Cam Dolan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Coolican, 17 Nick Wallace, 18 Titi Lamositele; 19 Tai Tuisamoa, 20 Kyle Sumsion; 21 Shalom Suniula, 22 Tim Maupin, 23 Folau Niua.

For Uruguay: Unsurprisingly after last week’s surprise draw in Montevideo, coach Pablo Lemoine has named an unchanged lineup for the second leg.

The only change at all is on the bench, where Nicolás Klappenbach has remained in Uruguay after the birth of his child this week and Carlos Pombo takes his place.

Whilst Uruguay were underdogs last week, despite their draw they are even bigger underdogs away from home. They gameplan will not change at all but it’s doubtful as to how far it will get them this time round and they need to improve.

Los Teros will find it harder to get away with dropping restarts and offering the USA territory the way they did last week. Their fitness levels will also be further put to the test. They looked to be creaking last week but escaped after a large chunk of the last 20 minutes ended up being a scrum fest, whilst their home crowd offered them extra energy. If they could repeat last week’s result it would probably be the greatest achievement in their history.

Starting XV: 15 Gastón Mieres; 14 Leandro Leivas, 13 Joaquín Prada, 12 Andrés Vilaseca, 11 Jerónimo Etcheverry; 10 Felipe Berchesi, 9 Agustín Ormaechea; 1 Alejo Corral, 2 Arturo Avalo (c), 3 Oscar Durán; 4 Santiago Vilaseca, 5 Mathias Palomeque; 6 Juan Gaminara, 7 Diego Magno, 8 Alejandro Nieto.
Replacements: 16 Carlos Pombo, 17 Rodolfo de Mula, 18 Mario Sagario; 19 Cristofer Soares, 20 Franco Lamanna, 21 Juan de Freitas; 22 Alejo Durán, 23 Francisco Bulanti.

1 comment :

  1. Grant A Cole30/3/14 2:26 pm

    Tolkin does not concern himself with what Eagles' fans think about him or his selections. That's the only thing about his coaching that is admirable.