Twelve points down and only five minutes left -- why did we take a penalty kick over kicking for touch and attempting a try? My only guess is that the USA knew it was going to lose and decided that a nine-point loss was better than a 12-point loss.
As it happens, we only lost by four. The 25-21 final score is respectable but not what I think the USA was capable of. They didn't seem to start playing rugby until the second half. As usual, we suffered from a lack of experienced players and intelligent strategy (why did Ngwenya not get the ball more?). The USA seems to split between playing a game designed for two types of team -- a power team and an endurance team. It is neither at the moment. It's frustrating because our next and final match is against South Africa and only the most deluded fan would think we could win that one.
(Although, Tonga performed well against South Africa and we performed well against Tonga...)
I'm sure my neighbours will be looking at me funny for a while, because I was screaming at the television throughout the second half. Hopefully they were able to figure out that I was screaming at rugby and not just stomping around my living room in a homicidal rage.
I think the thing that frustrates me most is the number of guys in the United States who don't make the NFL cut who would make brilliant rugby players (assuming they improved their fitness and learned to check their egos a bit). I hate New Zealand so much and it just twists a knife in my gut to know that I come from a country that could present a team to destroy the All Blacks, but doesn't.