KOBE (Reuters) - Far from being demoralised by their 45-7 World Cup defeat to England, the United States are determined to use the experience to aid their rugby development, back Marcel Brache said on Friday.
Along with other tier-two teams, the United States have made great strides in recent years, climbing to 13th in the world rankings. But while Uruguay in particular and also Russia have impressed in Japan, the Eagles were put firmly in their place by the 2003 World Cup champions on Thursday.
England scored seven tries and dominated every aspect of the game against the Americans, who had said beforehand that their goal was to establish the credibility of U.S. rugby.
Not only did the Eagles lose heavily, they also saw two players suffer serious injuries and had a player red carded for a dangerous shoulder charge, prompting coach Gary Gold to dub the match a “calamity in Kobe”.
Brache, who was born in Los Angeles and raised in Cape Town, said they did not do themselves justice.
“We’ve been together long enough to understand what’s a performance we’re proud of and what we are capable of putting out. Last night it was not that,” he added.
“Last night we can’t be proud of that defensive effort, 54 missed tackles is a clear sign of that. There’s lots to improve on defensively and offensively.”
The Eagles failed to win a match at the last World Cup but have shown signs of progress by winning the Americas Rugby Championship in 2017 and 2018.
Gold has also been talking up the prospect of the United States hosting the World Cup one day, saying it would be a boon for rugby in the country and boost the sport’s profile worldwide.
Brache, who played at outside centre on Thursday, said the United States should adopt the approach of “optimists within reality.”
“We’d love to continue pushing forwards in terms of the world rankings. What we are realists about is that we are a growing rugby nation, we are a growing side,” he said.
“We’ve got to continue to take moments like last night and moments over the next few weeks as ways forward in terms of building ourselves.”
Things will not get much easier for the Eagles in their second Pool C match in Fukuoka against three-times runners-up France, but Brache was keen to get back on the horse.
“That’s the great thing about the next few weeks. You get the opportunity to go back out again against another quality outfit... We’ll look to turn the tables from last night.”
editing by John Stonestreet