Wallabies overpower spirited Eagles 47-10 in Chicago

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Wallabies have run out 47-10 winners over the USA Eagles in an historic Test match at Soldier Field, Chicago on Sunday morning (AEST).

In energy-sapping conditions the Wallabies responded in emphatic fashion in the second half after a tight first half where the Americans fought back after conceding two early tries to trail by just four points at the break.

A man of the match performance from Wallabies flanker Sean McMahon helped the vistors to overpower their rivals in what was a spirited display from the home side in front of a vocal Chicago crowd.

McMahon crossed for his first Test try, and additional five-pointers to Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Dean Mumm, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper and Taqele Naiyaravoro secured the victory in Australia’s first Test on US soil since 1976.

The Match:

In what was largely a scrappy first half performance after taking an early 14-0 lead through tries to Bernard Foley and Nick Phipps, the Wallabies failed to establish any continuity in attack and surrendered possession too easily through simple handling errors and a lack of execution in the kicking game.

After Eagles lock Greg Peterson was yellow-carded in the 6th minute for repeat infringements, Foley opened the scoring after he wrong-footed his opposite number AJ MacGinty to dot down under the posts after nine minutes of play.

Minutes later the Wallabies produced their best attacking raid of the opening half when Foley took off down the right touchline, turning the ball inside through the hands of James Slipper and Wycliff Palu before Phipps did the rest backing up on the inside to cruise over for the visitors’ second try.

Foley converted both tries and the Wallabies led the 14-man Eagles by as many points after 15 minutes of the match.

From there it was all the Americans though, who aimed up in defence and started to win the physical battle.

The home team’s first points came through a penalty goal to MacGinty, who slotted the goal from 40 metres out after the Wallabies were caught offside.

Twelve minutes later the Eagles where rewarded for their physical dominance when Zimbabwean-born winger Takudzwa Ngwenya brushed aside Joe Tomane on the end of a sweeping backline movement to burst through the line and set up a try for scrumhalf Mike Petri.

MacGinty’s conversion narrowed the gap to just 10-14 at the break.

It took the Wallabies just eight minutes in the second stanza to increase their lead, when flanker Sean McMahon, who was a standout for the Australians in just his fourth Test appearance, crashed over for his first Test try on the end of a powerful rolling maul. Foley added the extras to make it 21-10.

Replacement lock Dean Mumm then barged across for his second try since returning to the Wallabies this season, and Foley’s fourth conversion from as many attempts made it 28-10 to the visitors after 55 minutes.

The home side stayed in the contest, creating a couple of decent opportunities in the attacking zone, but was repeatedly thwarted by a committed Wallabies defensive line.

But after the Eagles looked certain to score when skipper Chris Wyles plucked an interception and surged downfield only to be collared by Tomane, the Australians blew the margin out further when Kurtley Beale put the finishing touches on a length-of-the-field try which saw the ball pass through several Wallabies hands.

With the floodgates well and truly open, Quade Cooper and debutant Taqele Naiyaravoro also dotted down in the final ten minutes to complete the rout.

Wallabies flyhalf Foley was sharp with the boot, landing 6 from 7 conversions in the seven-tries-to-one victory.

Wallabies 47 (Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Sean McMahon, Dean Mumm, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper, Taqele Naiyaravoro tries, Bernard Foley 6 cons) defeated USA Eagles 10 (Mike Petri try, AJ MacGinty con, pen