Courtesy of USA Rugby
WIESBADEN, Germany — The Men's Eagles sealed their first-ever victory over Germany on Saturday in a 46-17 win at BRITA-Arena.
Though the USA had a clear size advantage, the Germans threatened early, leading into a high-scoring second half in which the Americans would seal their victory.
Going into the match, USA head coach Dave Hewett was prepared for the challenges his squad would face.
"We knew the German side would come at us with a lot of physical play, our philosophy was to try and match it and I think the boys did really well," Hewett said.
The 22nd-ranked Germans were on the board first when No. 8 Ayron Schramm went over in the 12th minute for the first try of the match.
The USA followed with several scoring threats but conceded possession to a German defense that held strong against its attempt to move past the gain line. AJ MacGinty gave the Eagles their first points by kicking two through the posts, cutting the German lead to four at 10-6. As the clock reached the final minutes of the first half, Eagles captain Blain Scully touched down for the USA's first try and a 13-10 lead, an advantage they would not relinquish.
The Americans wasted no time in the second half, maintaining possession for the first four minutes of what would be a high-scoring affair. Scrumhalf Shaun Davies got the Eagles started and while he was brought down short of the line, hooker Joe Taufete'e came in support to pick up and score.
Moments later, Davies would dot down and MacGinty collected a try himself, and Ryan Matyas capped off a nice counter as the USA turned a slim advantage to a 39-10 lead.
"We knew that if we stuck to our game plan we would come back and see the consistency," Hewett said. "We put into place the phase play that we practiced."
The Germans would catch the USA off guard just once to make their lone score of the second half, but the Eagles kept their offense alive by answering quickly with a maul that inched them in to seal their final victory.
The United States' first victory over the Germans gives them a 1-0 lead in the two-part series that will conclude on U.S. soil next June. Following their stay in Frankfurt, the Eagles will make a trip to Tbilisi for a test match against Georgia that will serve as their final contest of 2017.
"Just really proud of the entire team, even those who didn't make the field, in how they prepared for this week," Hewett said. "They put a lot of work in, and got the result they deserved."