Of the six Old Glory players called up to the Falcons, three for a tour of South Africa and the other three for a tour of South America, five saw playing time this weekend. These Falcons teams are a step below the national team, with the best performers on these tours likely to play with the Eagles in November.

In South Africa, Jack Iscaro, Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz, and Cory Daniel all got starting spots against the Cheetahs. This was something of a surprise, as they were favored over more experienced internationals in their positions such as Cam Dolan and Chance Wenglewski. However, they all seemed to rise to the task, with Fa'anana-Schultz scoring the first try, bruising over the line off the back of a lineout. Indeed, it says something about OGDC's players that the team started to collapse after they came off - a 20-17 lead at the end of the first half became a 53-25 deficit at the end of the second half.

All three players are making a good case for their inclusion on the November Eagles squad. Fa'anana-Schultz had strong carries and provided exactly the sort of hard-nosed defense that's been missing from Cam Dolan, the usual holder of the number 8 jersey. Iscaro, meanwhile, held up well in scrums, with his absence from the set piece a large part of the scrum problems in the second half. Cory Daniel, for his part, did everything that could be expected of him, putting in a good shift on defense and laying in those tackles that we've all become so used to. If Gary Gold wants to focus on fixing the defensive issues that have plagued the Eagles in recent years, giving these three a shot would be a good place to start.

In much the same fashion as the South Africa match, the South America match was close in the first half, with the Falcons down 17-10. However, the second half did for them as Uruguay XV raced away to a 50-27 win. Owen Sheehy got the start at fullback in this match, with Collin Grosse coming off the bench. Unfortunately, John LeFevre was left out of the matchday roster. He will likely see some time this coming weekend, though.

Sheehy performed as expected in this match. He was one of the few players with significant professional experience on the Falcons side, and it showed through in subtle ways. He was generally in the right place at the right time, doing the right things. In particular, he was in control under the highball and his kicking was on point. Early on, Uruguay clearly expected to have the advantage in kicking battles and kicked often to try to exploit that. Sheehy, however, was more than up for it, and there was a visible shift in strategy from Uruguay as they realized that they couldn't bully Sheehy through the air. It's fantastic to see Sheehy having such a big impact on a match with his skills.

He also tackled well and moved with his usual deceptive speed. Just look at the kick and chase in this segment: he puts in a good kick, follows it up so well that no one was expecting him to be there, then nails the tackle.

Both teams are playing again this week, with the side in South America up first. They play Argentina XV tomorrow at 6:40 pm, with the match likely being available on Youtube, while the side in South Africa will play the Pumas at 11:00 am on Friday. That match will not be available for viewers to stream for free.


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