USA Eagles
31 12
Romania
5 5
Men's Eagles  @ Ghencea Stadium
November 17, 20182:00 pm BMT
Autumn Internationals
FloRugby

USA increases test match win streak to 9 with victory over Romania

BUCHAREST, ROU. - The United States men have done it again. In a test match where penalties drove the game in several different directions, the Men's Eagles owned the fight to claim a smashing 31-5 win over Romania.

With a margin of victory more than 15 points -- and after Italy fell to Australia -- the U.S. men have moved up two spots in the World Rugby Rankings to No. 13. Also extending their remarkable unbeaten run to 9 test matches with a now 10-1 record overall, the Eagles have won back the Pershing Cup and preserved a monumental win streak.

Ahead of the match, the Men's Eagles took precautionary measures and replaced Will Hooley with Will Magie due to a minor lower-body injury. Magie stepped up to the task, sliding in at the flyhalf position and paving the way for Tim Maupin to fill a seat on the bench.

Head Coach Gary Gold was proud of the Eagle victory, noting how tough conditions in Romania forced the men to stay on their toes through both halves of play.

"We're really happy with the performance today. I think these were some very tough conditions against a pretty good Romanian team and our guys stuck to the task very well," said Head Coach Gary Gold. "It was close at halftime but we did what we needed to do in the second half and fought really well. We withstood quite a lot of pressure from them in the second half, particularly at scrum time, but the guys held out really well and we're very happy to have gotten the win."

Possession bounced back and forth between both teams for the first several minutes with neither advancing past the 22 to get within striking distance of a try.

This continued until USA's Paul Lasike bulldozed his way far past the gain line and setup Ruben de Haas with perfect position to pluck the ball from the ruck and rush it in, 0-5. Romania answered back a few minutes later, sneaking through a hole on the right flank and nailing a quick offload to tie it up, 5-5.

Ridden with penalties, the game erupted in an array of set pieces with Romania also engaging the Eagles heavily in the kickchase. The USA men answered the challenge effectively, however, sticking to their own rhythm of movement to put the ball back in play at the opportune moment.

Following a USA scrum, Eagle Paul Lasike received an offload and charged through the defensive line to clear space and help Bryce Campbell score, 5-12. The U.S. was over the line again immediately after but the Romanians managed to hold up the try forcing another scrum.

While momentum was still on their side, the Eagles were stopped short on two more scoring opportunities just before the half.

First, Captain Blaine Scully recovered a long chip kick from Will Magie but a tackle in the air forced his landing out of touch. Needing clarity on the play, the match referee called upon the TMO to review the landing and assess a possible penalty try. Unable to determine whether Scully's landing was affected by the tackle, the Eagles were awarded a penalty and chose to dive back into the scrum.

Next, another scrum inched across the tryline but penalties ruled the ball unplayable just as the halftime siren blew. With the score too close for comfort -- and three potential tries ripped away from the scoreline - the USA needed the break to strategically reset.

Threatening immediately with physicality at the breakdown, Ruben de Haas stole the ball from the ruck, broke open and passed to Captain Blaine Scully for the dot down. But, unconvinced again, the match referee turned to the TMO who evaluated the turnover and ultimately called Romania for a high tackle.

Even though this marked the fourth time the Eagles were stripped of a try, the squad remained vigilent.

With a Romanian player in the sin bin, the United States made it all the way to the 5-meter line before turning the ball back over to Romania. Going right back to the kick chase, Romania's antics were outplayed by Eagle Ryan Matyas who swooped in to own the moment.

Catching a high chip kick from Romania, Matyas ran down the middle into open space to increase the lead 5-19.

Before the United States could score again, play was stopped for a lower-body injury sustained by Tony Lamborn. Lamborn was helped off the field by medical personnel and was ruled out for the remainder of the game.

With substitutions in to energize the squad, the Eagles jumped right back into action.

Following a loose Romanian ball, Eagle Hanco Germishuys broke open and sprinted to the halfway line where an offload gave Bryce Campbell his second try of the match, 24-5.

Riding the high, the Americans were caught off guard when Romania snuck away from the ruck and ran across the tryline. But the USA earned a crucial save when the TMO discovered the Romanians were offside and stripped the try.

As time dwindled down, the United States men had won a lineout deep past the Romanian 22.

Winning a lineout with minutes left to play, USA's Will Magie cross kicked the ball to Tim Maupin who dashed around open space to dot down near the posts. A well-made conversion by Magie locked the score at 31-5 sealing the victory and allowing USA to reclaim the Pershing Cup.

Relishing in another monumental moment, the Men's National Team will now chart one final course towards a matchup with No. 2 Ireland next Saturday, Nov. 24 at 1:30 PM ET. The game will mark the conclusion of the Autumn Internationals 2018 giving USA one more opportunity to close the year unbeaten in tests. Broadcast information will be provided closer to date.

U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM STAFF

Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach | Shawn Pittman
Assistant Coach | Greg McWilliams
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Team Doctor | Richard Kim (Romania & Ireland)
Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz (Samoa, Romania & Ireland)
Team Manager | Chris Hanson
Assistant Team Manager | Kevin McCorry

U.S. MEN'S NATIONAL TEAM SCHEDULE

vs Maori All Blacks | 22-59 (L)

vs Samoa | 30-29 (W)

vs Romania | 5-31 (W)

vs Ireland
Sat, Nov. 24 | 1:30 PM ET
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, IRE

*Times subject to change.