The Rugby Weekend Kicks Off

The Cubs' giant win and early city celebrations aided to the excitement of The Rugby Weekend, that AIG brought to Chicago.  Local Boy Scouts lined the tunnel to welcome players onto the field. After the National Anthems of both countries the crowd became excited, for the Maori to do the Haka. In the first minute of the game it became a kicking match with the USA Eagles pushing for yardage early on and seeming to be their defense strategy for keeping the All Blacks pushed back. Just 8 minutes into the game, the Eagles were closing to scoring but penalties pushed the Eagles on to the defense, showing that any inch or gap you give the All Blacks they will find a way to score and did in the 10th minute.


The Eagles still fresh in the first half continued to keep pace with the Maori All Blacks, and even had a few nice break ways. However in the 17th minute, a penalty kick and a quick inside cut, the Maoris score on the Eagles again, with a corner try, and an amazing off the pole conversion kick,bringing the score to 0-14.  Halfway through the first half the Maoris kept the Eagles on their half of the field and on the defense. In the 38th minute, there was a yellow card against James Hilterbrand, resulting in the half leaving the Eagles in a deficiate of  0-28.


During Half time Rugby Illinois Youth Players got to take the field and showing the U12 players skills to all of Toyota Park. Rookie the Eagle played with them as well. It was a great showcase of how rugby is growing here n Chicago.


Secnd hald the Eagles came back out, not looked as sprited as the first half and in the 44th minute Akira Ioane scored, giving the Maori's 35. Quickly after, the Eagles almost scored on a quick break but a knock-on brought them back to the 22. The Eagles kept their ground and close to the try line, mauling over and in the 48 minute, getting a try awarded, by Captain Todd Clever. Then just three minutes later, the All Blacks scored again, on a small space that became a huge advantage. As the Maori's rotated in their reserve players they continued to give the Eagles a challenge. The penalties for both teams kept at bay until the 78th minute, with All Blacks scoring again, ending the game 54-7.

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