PHILADELPHIA, PA – After Round 1 of the Americas Rugby Championship, it is the Canadians at the top of the table. Their 33-17 win over Uruguay earned them 4 points for the victory, plus the bonus point for 4+ tries. In terms of entertainment, it was the #USAvARG that was tops. The 35-35 draw, with 9 tries scored in total, nets each side 2 points for the draw and 1 point for 4+ tries. Brazil managed a losing bonus point in their loss to Chile. Between the 3 matches there were 23 tries scored. In contrast, the first round of the 6 Nations saw 9 tries scored.
Here are the standings after Round 1.
The reported attendance for the Chile v Brazil match was 1,500; Canada v Uruguay was 1,123. Meanwhile, USA v Argentina at BBVA Compass Stadium had a crowd of 10,241.
Chile v Brazil (25-22)
Brazil came close to stealing a victory as Chile limped to the end of the match. Brazil’s performance in most aspects was inconsistent. For instance, they thwarted a Chilean maul by driving it into touch, but then lost the lineout and gave up a try. At scrum time, they were dominated a few times, but won penalties late in the match. The first-up tackling was often good close to the breakdown, but often poor out wide. Chile was not a model of precision, either. Even when the chances were created for Chile, they struggled with accuracy out wide. When Chile did have some accurate passing out wide, it set up the try that put them up 25-12 with 25 minutes to go. Chile’s fight back in the last 25 was fueled by the good breaks from fullback Daniel Sancery.
Canada v Uruguay (33-17)
The Canadian attack was good early and they bolted out to a 19-0 lead before Uruguay had a chance to really get into the match. Veterans like Phil Mackenzie made big contributions to Canada’s strong start. When Uruguay did score, it was a penalty try awarded from a scrum to end the half down 19-7. In the second half, each side scored a pair of tries as Canada remained in control of the match from start to finish.
USA v Argentina XV (35-35)
My post-match report is here. The match is available on the ESPN3 player if you haven’t already seen it or simply want to watch again.
How Our Experts Fared
Our panel of experts started the tournament with a thud. We can’t be blamed for not anticipating the USA v Argentina draw, but as a group, we should be chastised for over-estimating Uruguay and under-estimating Canada. It was a 1-2 weekend all ’round.
Here is the remaining schedule. The big matchup in Round 2 is the rivalry match between USA and Canada.
13-14 February: Argentina v Chile, Brazil v Uruguay, USA v Canada
20-21 February: Canada v Brazil, USA v Chile, Uruguay v Argentina
27-28 February: Argentina v Canada, Brazil v USA, Chile v Uruguay
5-6 March: Brazil v Argentina, Chile v Canada, Uruguay v USA
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