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All Americans Happy With Job One

Sunday Aug 2, 2009 in Elite Level Rugby National Teams

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The All Americans wanted to set the tone both tactically and physically against the Stellenbosch Markotters, and they did that; Roland Evans delivered some big hits and the Americans took advantage of chances that rolled their way to take a 24-7 lead.

The game didn’t turn into a rout, though, as the Morkotters stormed back to make a game of it. Head coach Alex Magleby told ERugbyNews he wasn’t worried.

“It felt like the boys had it,” Magleby said. “The systems were working fine. Statistically we were accomplishing much of what we needed to. A few errors were bound to happen at this stage and they happen to occur together, as they usually do, in the middle of the second spell there; one mistake begot another begot another.”

Not getting too worked up about the Stellenbosch comeback, the All Americans are also not getting too worked up about winning.

“Today’s win was nice,” said game day captain Steve St. Pierre, “but we know we can improve and be better for the games that lie ahead. I’m looking forward to it.”

Magleby said the key in the previous game and the two to follow are “continued growth every phase; mental focus on that moment, on the things we actually have control over,” he said. “[It’s] a big challenge that takes years for most elite athletes to chase down.”

The All Americans have just a few days. On Wednesday they take on South Africa Universities. They were to have played the Argentina Jaguars, but travel restrictions related to the H1N1 flu virus forced the Jaguars to stay home. What that ends up doing is making the next two games for the Americans higher-profile. Wednesday’s match will be on South African television. Saturday’s match will be at Newlands Stadium, serving as a curtain-raiser for the South Africa v. Australia test.

Whether in a stadium or a park, on TV or not, the games will be tough as they feature the best players in the Varsity Cup, including some Stellenbosch players they haven’t seen yet.

“We’re not focused on the opponents really,” said Magleby. “It was a good side Friday and we expect it to be a great side Wednesday. We'll be working on improving in the areas we have control over, treating all three matches as the only one of the tour.”

Notes: The All Americans tour almost didn’t happen, but was finally accomplished thanks to the support of several sponsors. Clubs pitched in to support meals, and put their names out there as potential recruiters for these players. The USA 7s tournament became the presenting sponsor, and the tournament’s logo is on the team jerseys.

Lead supporters of the 2009 All Americans:

Presenting: USA Sevens, LLC

Eagle Level: Royall Lyme, Lucky Tiger, United States Rugby Football Foundation, Eagles’ Supporters Club

Hawk Level: Life University, Old Blue RFC, San Francisco Golden Gate RFC, Old Puget Sound RFC, Mystic Rugby, Old Mission Beach Athletic Club Rugby, Charlotte RFC, , New York Athletic Club Rugby

Falcon Level: Olympic Club

- Alex Goff
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