The United States have been left ruing a four-day turnaround since their defeat to Ireland for a crucial clash against World Cup debutants Russia in New Plymouth on Thursday.
"It hasn't been ideal," said captain and flank Todd Clever. "It was about getting the body right from the last game and then preparing for the next game."
The Americans produced a fantastic defensive display in an opening 22-10 loss to the Irish, but suffered at scrum time.
"It's about getting the good first hit on," he said. "That's what Ireland got on top of us so we have to make sure we get that good hit first."
Clever added that his team were expecting a tough match against a robust Russian team they beat 32-25 in their last outing in June.
"We were fairly even in the physicality aspect of the game," he said of that Churchill Cup game.
"They were fast out wide and had a few players who were good with the boot. They're an improving team and we look forward to the playing them."
Eagles forwards coach Dave Hodges acknowledged that there was a special rivalry between the two nations.
"I think there is certainly a rivalry there. I think going back through the 1980s any time we played Russia [the then-Soviet Union] was a big meeting," Hodges said.
"There is still a little there, but not as intense as it used to be. (But) we're under no illusions that they are targeting us.
"This is a game they (Russia) think they can win. The first half will be very interesting. I think they will come out guns blazing."
Hodges also hailed the presence of Chris Wyles at fullback after overcoming injury.
"Chris brings a steadying force to our backline," Hodges said. "He's a very experienced and smart player. He brings a good foot to the game as well. He gives us a lot of opportunities in that regard."
US wing James Paterson said it would be important having Wyles on board for his kicking skills in what is expected to be bad weather conditions.
"In a tight game kicking is very crucial and it may be that way come Thursday," Paterson said. "So getting those points will be really important.
"Chris [Wyles] will be taking the kicking duties on Thursday. He has had a few kicking sessions this week, so he'll be good to go. He is a great kicker."
Australia beat Italy 32-6 in the first Pool C game, and Russia will meet the Italians in Nelson on Tuesday in a very quick turnaround, while the Americans play the Wallabies on September 23 in Wellington.
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