Planet Rugby

Preview: USA v Canada

20th June 2014 08:19

Share:

USA rugby player Danny Barrett

Second start: Danny Barrett

With both teams having lost to pace-setting Japan in recent weeks, USA and Canada will be keen to get off the mark in their clash in Sacramento.

The Brave Blossoms opened the Pacific Nations Cup with a 34-25 win over the Canadians before doubling up against the States, winning 37-29.

And that has left the defeated duo nine and eight points off the pace respectively in the North American conference so Saturday's about pride.

USA did play well in patches against their victors however, with Blaine Scully, Danny Barrett and Chris Wyles starring. The trio start once again.

Barrett will start his second match for the Eagles after earning his first cap last week. He'll replace Cam Dolan, who has an injury, at number eight.

Blindside flanker Todd Clever captains the side, which features impressive Sevens Series finisher Brett Thompson on the wing in his first start.

"We have been looking at him for quite some time," said head coach Mike Tolkin.

"He is an athletic, knowledgeable young man who plays with confidence and has a good amount of ability."

Hayden Smith returns to the line-up to partner Samu Manoa. Smith was not named to the 23-man squad against Japan but played in the Eagles' Series opener against Scotland and the first leg of the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier play-off against Uruguay.

"Hayden was replaced [against Japan] as he is just getting back into things and we thought that the line-up we had versus Japan was the right one for that particular team," Tolkin said. "Hayden brings a lot to the table in ability, knowledge, and pride. I look forward to having him back."

Meanwhile, Canada head coach Kieran Crowley has made four changes to his starting side for Saturday's Pacific Nations Cup clash against their rivals.

In the front-row, Andrew Tiedemann and Aaron Carpenter will feature alongside Jake Ilnicki, which will be the first start for the 22-year-old prop.

The rest of Canada's forwards remain untouched from the Scotland match, with Jamie Cudmore and Tyler Hotson in the second-row and Jebb Sinclair, John Moonlight and captain Tyler Ardron in the back-row.

In the backs, Phil Mack is alongside Harry Jones at number ten. Connor Braid will make his first start of 2014 in the centres next to Ciaran Hearn.

Canada's second all-time try scorer DTH van der Merwe will join fellow professionals Jeff Hassler and James Pritchard in a strong-looking back three.

Ones to watch:

For USA: The combination of Chris Wyles and Blaine Scully was deadly last week against Japan and will again be an attacking outlet for the USA on Saturday. Wyles showed power and pace while Scully proved he's a natural finisher so Canada have been warned.

For Canada: He has been free-scoring in the Sevens Series and got over the whitewash against Japan two weeks ago so USA would do well to keep an eye on John Moonlight. The sizeable flanker forms part of a tough back-row that includes Tyler Ardron and Jebb Sinclar.

Head-to-head: Brett Thompson makes his first appearance for the Eagles and will be focused not only on his own performance but that of Jeff Hassler. Hassler has proven he is the real deal this year at the Ospreys while Thompson was superb on the Sevens Series.

Previous results:

2013: Canada won 13-11 in Toronto
2013: Canada won 27-9 in Charleston
2013: Canada won 16-9 in Edmonton
2012: Canada won 28-25 in Kingston
2011: Canada won 27-7 in Glendale
2011: Canada won 28-22 in Toronto
2009: Canada won 41-18 in Edmonton
2009: USA won 12-6 in Charleston

Prediction: Canada to continue their winning run against USA. Canada by 5.

The teams:

USA: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Seamus Kelly, 12 Thretton Palamo, 11 Brett Thompson, 10 Shalom Suniula, 9 Mike Petri, 8 Danny Barrett, 7 Scott LaValla, 6 Todd Clever, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Olive Kilifi, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Nick Wallace.
Replacements: 16 Tom Coolican, 17 Eric Fry, 18 Titi Lamositele, 19 Louis Stanfill, 20 Kyle Sumsion, 21 Folau Niua, 22 Chad London, 23 Luke Hume.

Canada: 15 James Pritchard, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Connor Braid, 11 DTH Van der Merwe, 10 Harry Jones, 9 Phil Mack, 8 Tyler Ardron, 7 John Moonlight, 6 Jebb Sinclair, 5 Tyler Hotson, 4 Jamie Cudmore, 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Aaron Carpenter, 1 Andrew Tiedemann,
Replacements: 16 Hubert Buydens, 17 Ray Barkwill, 18 Jason Marshall, 19 Jon Phelan, 20 Kyle Gilmour, 21 Gordon McRorie, 22 Nathan Hirayama, 23 Nick Blevins.

Date: Saturday, June 21
Kick-off: 15:00 local (23:00 BST, 22:00 GMT)
Venue: Bonney Field, Sacramento
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh 10 - 46 GloucesterLondon Welsh vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 37 - 23 Cardiff BluesLeinster vs Cardiff Blues Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411