Man of the Match – JJ Gagiano
Ikeys star JJ Gagiano played for the US Eagles in their Churchill Cup start against Russia last weekend. The Eagles won 39:22, but were made to work hard by the Bears.
The UCT backrow who is now close to his 10th cap for the States came off the bench with 20 minutes and was part of a late Eagles rally to wrap up the game, which had been close to that point, with Russia in the lead for most of the first half.
JJ said: “It was our first time together in 6 months so we were a little rusty and it took us a while to get going. I was quite impressed with the Russians, they were sharp and had some very good players, their openside flank and fullback were very strong”.
Russia have qualified for the RWC for the first time after playing very well in the European Nations Cup – where fellow UCT forward Bodo Sieber faced them with Germany. “It was great to play again, although the altitute was a bit tough” JJ added about the game played in Colorado.
The Eagles team will play England Saxons on Sunday and are then on their way to New Jersey where they will compete in the “finals” – the Churchill Cup elimination round.
“We will probably play against Canada then, so we have two games left one more in Denver and another in New York.” concludes the UCT star who is working hard to play himself in contention for a World Cup 2011 ticket.