The November Tests began with an exciting game on Friday as the USA Eagles easily beat Russia 40-26 at Parc Eirias in Wales.
The November Test window kicked off with an exciting fixture on Friday as the USA Eagles easily beat Russia 40-26 at Parc Eirias in Wales.
The Americans ran in six tries to build a commanding lead by the hour mark but let their intensity drop in the final quarter to allow the Russians to bring a semblance of respectability to the scoreline.
Eagles scrum-half Robbie Shaw put in a stellar performance, scoring two tries and marshalling the American attack excellently.
The USA were a step ahead of their opposition in just about every aspect of the game. Indeed, the scoreboard was a little flattering to the Russians, who nevertheless should be given credit for fighting to the end and scoring three tries in the last half-hour.
The USA paid the price for taking the foot of the gas as they missed out on a IRB Rankings bonus which would have come with a 15-point victory.
The American forwards dominated the Russian pack, winning the battle at the breakdown and in the set pieces.
The USA led 21-9 at the interval thanks to an early try from Eric Fry (his first in Test rugby), another from debutant fly-half Toby L'Estrange and one for lock Brian Doyle.
Shaw claimed his first early in the second half to give the USA a 33-9 lead but the Russians replied as wing Vladimir Ostroushko touched down.
Flanker Andrey Temnov grabbed two more for Russia in the final quarter but Shaw's second try – under the posts – had already put the result beyond doubt.
Tries: Ostroushko, Temnov 2
Pens: Klyuchnikov 3
Yellow cards: Gresev, Shcherban
Tries: Fry, L'Estrange, Doyle, Wyles, Shaw 2
Cons: Wyles 5
Russia: 15 Igor Klyuchnikov, 14 Denis Simplikevich, 13 Vasily Artemyev, 12 Alexey Makovetskiy, 11 Vladimir Ostroushko, 10 Sergey Sugrobov, 9 Alexey Shcherban, 8 Victor Gresev, 7 Pavel Butenko, 6 Andrey Temnov, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 4 Alexander Voytov (capt), 3 Evgeny Pronenko, 2 Valery Tsnobiladze, 1 Grigory Tsnobiladze.
Replacements: 16 Vladislav Korshunov, 17 Alexey Volkov, 18 Innokentiy Zykov, 19 Andrey Garbuzov, 20 Ramil Gaysin, 21 Gleb Babkin, 22 Vladimir Boltenkov, 23 Dmitry Gerasimov.
USA: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Cornelius Dirksen, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Luke Hume, 10 Toby L'Estrange, 9 Robbie Shaw, 8 Todd Clever (capt), 7 John Quill, 6 Scott LaValla, 5 Louis Stanfill, 4 Brian Doyle, 3 Eric Fry, 2 Chris Biller, 1 Shawn Pittman.
Replacements: 16 Zachary Fenoglio, 17 Nick Wallace, 18 Tony Purpura, 19 Inaki Basauri, 20 Peter Dahl, 21 Mike Petri, 22 Rolan Suniula, 23 Gearoid McDonald.
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)