Rugby World Cup
Thretton Palamo: USA out to spoil other team's World Cup dreams
ESPN Staff
October 5, 2015
Are USA the future of rugby?

Thretton Palamo insists his USA team-mates are still out to break a few hearts in their remaining two World Cup pool fixtures against South Africa and Japan.

Having lost their opening two games against Samoa and Scotland, Mike Tolkin's side are unable to make it through to the last eight in England -- their aim before the tournament began. However, the Eagles' results against the Springboks and Brave Blossoms could affect the outcome of which nations advance from Pool B.

"Nothing really changes," Palamo said during a media conference at their team hotel in Hertfordshire. "We don't know any better than just to play hard.

"That's really all we know, just play harder. Just because we're out doesn't mean that we can give up. We can be spoilers in our pool and break some teams' dreams.

"It's obviously not the outcome we wanted, so it's harder now than at the beginning of the World Cup. We honestly, truly believed that we could get out of this pool. It's been a bit hard but the boys are in surprisingly high spirits."

Thretton Palamo of the USA
Thretton Palamo of the USA© Shaun Botterill - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images

Palamo also reflected on what he thought had gone wrong for the Eagles in England. "We need more organisation. That's what it seems like," he added.

"Even though we had a plan set, we couldn't get organised fast enough. Guys knew where they needed to be, but it's almost like they forgot. We need to find ways of making it smoother. If we can manage to switch on and believe, we can come back."

USA face South Africa at London's Olympic Stadium on Wednesday before a quick turnaround to play Japan in Gloucester on Sunday. Head coach Tolkin has named seven players in his starting XV to play the Springboks who have yet to feature in the tournament.

"It comes to a point in this tournament with a four-day rest where you have to use the whole squad," Tolkin said. "Every team that's been in this situation has had to do the same thing. We have to use the full squad and we're confident in this full squad.

"Overall these guys continue to work hard and it's amazing that we've been together three months. The morale's good, the work ethic's very good. We're just disappointed we didn't get those wins [against Samoa and Scotland]. We knew each World Cup game is a challenge but we also felt that we could win."

It is clear Tolkin has one eye on the Pool B finale with Eddie Jones' side, a last chance of victory. Lock Louis Stanfill knows his team-mates must improve if they are to end their campaign on a positive.

"We came into this with our goal [as] the quarter-finals. We still have two games left to prove how far we've come," Stanfill said. "The last two games I think we've let ourselves down in proving that. The direction things are going, future World Cups hold huge amounts of promise for us and America intends to fulfil that promise."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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