Things You Missed: The U.S. Got Wrecked 64-0 By South Africa In The Rugby World Cup On Wednesday
October 8 / Rick Chandler / SportsGrid
In all the confusion over the Cubs actually winning a playoff game -- is that even legal? -- another important sporting event was nearly completely overlooked on Wednesday. The U.S. played its third match in the Rugby World Cup: a Pool Play showdown with one of the tournament favorites, South Africa.
The result? Think of Jimmy Johnson's final game as coach of the Miami Dolphins (a 62-7 loss to the Jaguars in the 1999 playoffs), and then take away all of that high-flying Miami offense. Team USA lost to the Springboks 64-0, in a result that could have been worse except that South Africa was "ill-disciplined" in the first half, according to the BBC.
Bryan Habana equalled Jonah Lomu's World Cup try-scoring record with a hat-trick as South Africa reached the quarter-finals by thrashing USA. The winger scored three times in 21 second-half minutes to draw level with Lomu's mark of 15 World Cup tries.
A mixture of South Africa's ill-discipline and poor finishing kept the score down in the first half, while USA only made it into the Boks' 22 in the last minute of the half, despite enjoying plenty of possession.
The U.S. is thus 0-3 in pool play, eliminated with one match left, vs. Japan. South Africa goes on to play in the quarterfinals the loser of Saturday's Pool A decider between Australia and Wales.
We've obviously got a long way to go in international rugby, because South Africa isn't even the favorite to win the World Cup. It's also a little surprising that a sport with so much in common with America football, which is even in some respects more rugged and dangerous, gets so little attention in the U.S.
There was a time in our dim, long-ago athletics past, that colleges had rugby as their main sport. But football was invented and, 130 years later, we suck at rugby.
My theory? Americans don't like to lateral. I have the ball, and I may throw it to you, and if I do now you have the ball and you don't want to give it up, either. We're selfish that way. Rugby will never reignite here because we're too selfish.
I'm sure that Trevor Noah will elaborate tonight on The Daily Show.