Today the USA will be playing Scotland for contention for 9th place in the Junior World Championship. Over the last week we have seen the USA get absolutely demolished by elite tier teams such as South Africa, France, and recently, a Junior World Championship record breaking, 109-0 loss to England. There is no doubt that one can be critical of the way that the USA has played. Whether it’s because there is a lack of fundamentals being consistently maintained by the players, poor coaching or whether it’s because the level competition is significantly higher than the USA. For whatever the reason, the USA has had its slew of problems in this championship.
This afternoon, the USA has a chance to rectify the situation. If the USA doesn’t come in the bottom two of the JWC, they will have a chance to return for competition next year. They are facing a Scotland team that has struggled throughout this championship games. This will be a competition that seems more worth for the USA to be able to handle. They Scottish team is not particularly fast, they are significantly stronger, they aren’t great ball handlers. The type of talent that the USA team has faced in their pool play will not be a factor in this game. The Scotland team has struggled in the weakest of the three pools, playing teams Argentina, Wales and Samoa, opposed to the USA having played two of the four teams in the semi-final rounds.
I fully expect that the USA will be able to win this game against Scotland. If USA players like fullback Conor Kearns can prevent himself from knocking on passes, and center Mike Teo can make key open field tackles, and hooker, Cameron Falcon, can continue to make the plays and throw in’s he is supposed to, and the rest of the team can trust their teammates and do their jobs without overthinking, I absolutely believe that the USA can handle this Scotland team.
The game will be played at 1pm CST and can be found streaming on IRB.com. We’ll see what happens when the USA shows they have something to prove in this competition.
CEO/Founder of Gift-Time Rugby Network