Toluta‘u makes USA Eagles debut in win over Canada

Vili Toluta‘u of the United States is tackled by Canada’s Luke Campbell during the Eagles’ 42-17 victory in a test match Saturday at the Wanderers Grounds in Halifax, Nova Scotia. -- The Canadian Press via AP / ANDREW VAUGHAN photo

Baldwin High School graduate Vili Toluta’u earned his first international cap with the United States senior men’s rugby team, entering as a sub in the Eagles’ 42-17 victory over Canada on Saturday in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

U.S. coach Gary Gold called Toluta’u into the game for flanker Ben Landry in the second half.

Toluta’u, who has been a standout for the Seattle Seawolves in the inaugural season of Major League Rugby, was called up to the national team at the beginning of its June test series. Saturday’s win capped a 3-0 run in the series, adding to wins over Scotland and Russia. The USA Eagles have won eight straight matches.

Thanks to a superior pack, U.S. flyhalf AJ MacGinty dictated proceedings Saturday after they endured a rugged opening quarter from the home side.

A chip and scoop by MacGinty set up Cam Dolan for the first try, and his cut-out pass sent in left wing Nate Augspurger for their second.

Canada threatened right on halftime but lost the ball on the try-line and trailed 13-3.

Augspurger turned provider for Dolan’s second try, and Canada replied by sending flanker Evan Olmstead over in a rolling maul to trail by 10 and still be a threat.

But that evaporated with about 10 minutes to go when Toluta’u was held up, and Dolan used the following scrum to power over for his hat-trick try.

The match finished with three more tries, two by the U.S.

The Eagles next face the All Blacks of New Zealand in Chicago in November.

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