PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Americas Rugby Championship heads into its 5th straight weekend of international rugby. By many measures, the tourney can already be called a success. And our panel of experts [ahem] all have winning records, so it seems fair to claim we’ve had a successful go at it as well. In fact, that collective success is surely more important than focusing on who among us has the best record. Right? And the fact that I am likely to finish with the worst record should be glossed over by all.
Anyway… The panel is in agreement that back-to-back upsets is unlikely for Brazil. However, Chile hosting Canada sees us as divided as we’ve been all tournament, as we are split right down the middle. No way I saw that coming 5 weeks ago. I feel like a traitor for picking against the Eagles, and I hope they prove me wrong. However, the mistakes they made last weekend won’t be easy to fix.
*Okay. I wrote that before the Eagles release their lineup. It now seems like the Eagles have a better chance than I figured.
Uruguay v USA
Uruguay are playing at home and have the bonus of Augustin Ormeachea being called into the squad. The Eagles, meanwhile, have to show that they really are better than they played against Brazil last weekend. Scrum time could be a real problem for the Eagles – they have had the worst attacking scrum in the competition, and Uruguay have already scored penalty tries from scrums against Canada and Argentina.
*Now that the USA have released the squad, my initial observations seem a little silly. The forwards at least should have a much improved match.
Kick-off: Saturday, 3:00pm EST
Location: Stadium Charrúa, Montevideo
Uruguay: 1. Mateo Sanguinetti 2. Carlos Arboleya 3. Mario Sagario 4. Gonzalo Soto 5. Diego Magno 6. Juan Manuel Gaminara 7. Juan Diego Ormaechea 8. Alejandro Nieto 9. Agustín Ormaechea 10. Manuel Blengio 11. Gastón Mieres 12. Andrés Vilaseca 13. Pedro Deal 14. Leandro Leivas 15. Rodrigo Silva 16. German Kessler 17. Facundo Gattas 18. Juan Echeverría 19. Mathias Palomeque 20. Matías Beer 21. Alberto Román 22. Guillermo Lijtenstein 23. Federico Favaro
USA: 1. Eric Fry 2. Mike Sosene-Feagai 3. Titi Lamositele 4. Brodie Orth 5. Ben Landry 6. Aladdin Schirmer 7. Todd Clever 8. David Tameilau 9. Mike Te’o 10. James Bird 11. Tim Stanfill 12. Chad London 13. Lorenzo Thomas 14. Deion Mikesell 15. JP Eloff 16. Joseph Taufete’e 17. Olive Kilifi 18. Demecus Beach 19. Nate Brakeley 20. Hanco Germishuys 21. Niku Kruger 22. Ryan Matyas 23. Jake Anderson
Chile v Canada
Chile has been a different team at home and on the road, and they are at home again this weekend. Canada played with both precision and ambition for about 15 minutes in the first half against Argentina. Unfortunately, too many other things went wrong for Canada. Gordon McRorie is back. That is good, but his replacement, Andrew Ferguson, was pretty good himself last weekend. Meanwhile, the front row that struggled last weekend is back with no changes. Chile have had, arguably, the worst scrum half play of the competition. Juan Pablo Perrota might give them a needed boost from 9.
Kick–off: 5:00pm EST
Location: Estadio Municipal de la Pintana, Santiago.
Chile 23: Ignacio Alvarez, Ramon Ayarza, Nikola Bursic, Humberto Chacaltana, Francisco De la Fuente, Manuel Gurruchaga, Francisco Hurtado, Jose Ignacio Larenas, Leonardo Montoya, Rodrigo Moya, Jose Tomas Munita, Cristobal Niedmann, Matias Nordenflycht, Cristian Onetto, Juan Pablo Perrota, Raimundo Piwonka, Javier Richard, Luis, Sepulveda, Ignacio Silva, Benjamin Soto, Nicolas Venegas, Beltran Vergara, Italo Zunino
Canada: 1. Hubert Buydens 2. Ray Barkwill 3. Djustice Sears-Duru 4. Cam Pierce 5. Paul Ciulini 6. Kyle Baillie 7. Alistair Clark 8. Lucas Rumball 9. Gordon McRorie 10. Pat Parfrey 11. Brett Johnson 12. Nick Blevins 13. Phil Mackenzie 14. Dan Moor 15. Brock Staller 16. Rob Brouwer 17. Eric Howard 18. Ryan Kotlewski 19. Clay Panga 20. Michael Hamson 21. Andrew Ferguson 22. Gradyn Bowd 23. Duncan Maguire
Brazil v Argentina XV
Brazil’s victory last weekend, as great as it was, owed a lot to errors made by USA. It is unlikely that Argentina will commit the same level of errors. Argentina has made fewer changes to its lineup than in any other round. This includes the return of the front row that gave Canada all sorts of trouble. It will be up to the improving Brazilian backline to keep their side in the match.
Kick-Off: 6:00pm EST
Brazil: 1. Rafael Carnivalle 2. Yan Rosetti 3. Wilton Rebolo 4. Lucas Piero 5. Luiz Vieira 6. André Arruda 7. Cléber Dias 8. Nick Smith 9. Lucas Duque 10. Moisés Duque 11. Laurent Bourda-Couhet 12. Matheus Cruz 13. Felipe Sancery 14. Lucas Tranquez 15. Daniel Sancery 16. Daniel Danielewicz 17. Caique Silva 18. Lucas Abud 19. Diego López 20. Mark Jackson 21. Mateus Estrela 22. Beukes Cremer 23. Robert Tenório
Argentina: 1. Facundo Gigena 2. Santiago Iglesias Valdez 3. Enrique Pieretto 4. Pedro Ortega 5. Ignacio Larrague 6. José Deheza 7. Lautaro Bavaro 8. Santiago Portillo 9. Marcos Bollini 10. Juan Cruz González 11. Pedro Mercerat 12. Tomás Granella 13. Juan Cappiello 14. Juan Pablo Estellés 15. Ramiro Moyano 16. Axel Zapata 17. Franco Brarda 18. Eduardo Bello 19. Franco Molina 20. Miguel Urtubey 21. Patricio Baronio 22. Martín Elías 23. Bautista Delguy
Here the table heading into the final weekend.
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