Ghost Of Uruguay Loss A Humbling Reminder: Gold

Highlights And Up Close: USA vs Brazil

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At the end of 2018, FloRugby put together a video showcasing the 10 victories the men’s 15s Eagles had recorded during that year.

It was a record year. In full test matches, the Eagles were 9-1, and in all games 10-2, far an away the best season the USA had ever recorded. And they weren’t against easy opposition, either, with Scotland, Samoa, Canada, and Romania among the Eagles’ victims.

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But right after that all happened, the USA hit a bit of a slump, getting beaten convincingly by Argentina XV, almost losing to Brazil, and then actually losing to Uruguay. 

Now, once again in good form, the Eagles have to be aware that they could easily slip up.

What the Eagles learned about the 2019 ARC was, said Gold, humility.

Gary Gold Discusses Uruguay Loss

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“We had a really good summer in 2018 and maybe there was a bit of complacency going into the ARC. Maybe we thought we just needed to pitch-up against a Uruguay team we’d beaten by 60 points the year before, and I personally I think it’s important that I take responsibility for that,” Gold told FloRugby.

Now, looking ahead to a Canada team that the USA beat handily in July, Gold knows things can change dramatically, especially with Canada playing at home at BC Place in rugby-mad Vancouver. 

“But that’s the beauty with rugby is that any team of 15 men or women can beat any team of 15 men or women on the day. It’s a mental sport because it’s a physical sport and any physical sport required mental focus,” he added.

Gold said he didn’t pick up any signs of the team being off its game against Uruguay.

“It was very, very disappointing but those are the losses that teach you the biggest lessons,” he said. “Now you can look back and say we have the ability to beat Scotland and we also have the ability to lose to Uruguay or almost lose to Brazil. But the fact that we can go against Samoa a second time, and while I don’t think we played very well, we stuck in the fight and won.”

Ultimately, said Gold, it’s about focus, not only through a test match but through a season.

“Now we have to understand that if it’s 12 or 15 test matches in a year, we have to be awake for every single one of them.”

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Autumn Nations Cup Stock Report

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You could be forgiven for thinking that the Northern hemisphere teams decided to play another Six Nations tournament in 2020, and added Georgia, perhaps on a trial basis. But no! 

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The Autumn Nations Cup wasn’t just a measuring stick for international teams, but also a proving ground for players looking to either break into the national team or reestablish their place in it. For the four British Isles, it was also an audition for Warren Gatland’s 2021 British & Irish Lions team which heads to South Africa next summer. 

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Now that it's over, it's all about the numbers.

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If the first three rounds of the 2020 Autumn Nations Cup were labeled as slow, or too kick-heavy, the final weekend was anything but. 

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It was supposed to be a cakewalk. It was supposed to be business as usual for Eddie Jones’ team in front of 2,000 spectators at Twickenham. 

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Italy and Wales will face off for fifth place as they look to finish off their Autumn Nations Cup run with a win. 

How to Watch Autumn Nations Cup: Ireland vs Scotland

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Both teams had some decent showings in pool play. Ireland's lone loss came to championship contender England in the second round in a hard fought contest. They will look to finish out the Autumn Nations Cup on a good note with a win over Scotland.