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CHICAGO (AP) — An experimental Australian side scored five second-half tries to pull away from a determined U.S. Eagles team and beat the Americans 47-10 in a rugby union international at Soldier Field on Saturday.
Flyhalf Bernard Foley scored the first Australian try in the eighth minute and kicked six conversions for 17 points. Other Wallabies tries went to Nick Phipps, Sean McMahon, Dean Mumm, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper and replacement Taqele Naiyaravoro; the first of his career.
Mike Petri scored the U.S. try while A.J. MacGinty kicked a conversion and penalty.
The opening try came after Eagles lock Greg Peterson was yellow-carded in the sixth minute for repeated infringements, Foley then wrong-footed his opposite number MacGinty to score under the posts.
After Phipps' converted try put Australia up 14-0, the Wallabies failed to establish any continuity in attack and surrendered possession too easily through simple handling errors.
The home team's first points came through a penalty to MacGinty, who slotted the goal from 40 meters out after the Wallabies were offside. Twelve minutes later, Zimbabwean-born winger Takudzwa Ngwenya moved past Joe Tomane on the end of a backline movement to burst through the line and set up a try for scrumhalf Petri.
MacGinty's conversion narrowed the gap to 14-10 at halftime, with the Wallabies ruing a number of glaring errors under pressure from some tough, fast-moving Eagles defense.
It may have been only a warm-up game ahead of the World Cup, but Australia coach Michael Cheika did not disguise his dissatisfaction in a boisterous halftime pep-talk.
"There was the odd loud word said," Cheika told News Limited. "In the first half we didn't have the right detail in some of the areas we needed to, but then we sorted out our decision-making and got back into the swing of it."
A chastened Australia team sharply improved early in the second half and flanker McMahon, who was a standout in just his fourth test, crashed over for his first test try on the end of a powerful rolling maul.
Replacement lock Mumm then barged across for his second try since returning to the Wallabies this season, and Foley's fourth conversion from as many attempts made it 28-10 to the visitors after 55 minutes.
The Eagles stayed in the contest, creating a couple of decent opportunities in the attacking zone, but were repeatedly thwarted by a strong Wallabies defensive line.
Australia increased its lead when Beale put the finishing touches on a length-of-the-field try, while Cooper and Naiyaravoro scored in the final 10 minutes.
Cheika named James Slipper as fill-in captain for Stephen Moore, becoming the first prop to lead the Wallabies in almost four decades. Moore, regular vice-captains Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper, and former captain David Pocock were rested.
It was the last warm-up match for both teams before they head to the World Cup in England and Wales, where the Americans will play in Pool B against South Africa, Samoa, Japan and Scotland. They play their first match against Samoa in Brighton, England on Sept. 20
Australia is in tough Pool A with England, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay and plays its first match against Fiji in Cardiff on Sept. 23.
Australia 47 (Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Sean McMahon, Dean Mumm, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper, Taqele Naiyaravoro tries; Foley 6 conversions); United States 10 (Mike Petri try, A.J. MacGinty conversion, penalty). HT: 14-10.
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