HANOVER, NH – It was a weekend of upsets as Brazil came from behind to defeat a struggling Canadian side and the USA tied Argentina XV, but won the second edition of the ARC (Americas Rugby Championship) off of points. The final table has Uruguay in 3rd after its convincing defeat of Chile. Brazil manages to finish 4th followed by Canada and Chile. It has certainly been a disappointing tournament for Canada (see their Official Statement here) as the Canucks were unable to defeat the USA, Uruguay, and Brazil following its sole victory against Chile. Let’s take a look at how the season wrapped up.
Argentina XV vs. USA
The USA tied Argentina XV for its second consecutive time. The Eagles first got on the board when youngster Ben Cima boomed a 60-meter penalty goal through the posts to tie the match 3-3. Pinned in their own end of the field, Nat Augspurger found daylight on the sideline and sped down the field before being dragged to the ground and popped the ball up to Will Magie who scored his first international try. Up 8-3, the USA utilized its maul to march downfield and reserve David Tameilau scored a try followed by a Cima conversion to extend the lead by 7. With no time left in the first half, Mike Te’o was penalized with a yellow card close to his own try zone for an intentional knock on and Argentina XV was awarded a penalty try.
The start of the second half saw Tameilau sent to the sin bin as well for foul play to put the USA down by two players. Argentina XV put pressure on the Eagle’s defense close to the try zone and eventually drew a penalty try after a series of unfinished scrums by the Eagles. Argentina took the lead after flyhalf Domingo Miotti scored a try. Argentina XV were relentless and Tomás de la Vegoa offloaded to full back Gabriel Ascárate to make the score 27-15. At this point, the Eagles regained their form and a series of passes from Ryan Matyas to Augspurger to Cam Dolan got the USA’s first points of the half on the board. Cima missed the ensuing conversion so the Eagles had to go to go for the try to win the tournament. The USA stole a lineout from Argentina XV and a run by Cima set up Tameilau for the try under the posts. With the conversion made, the USA tied up the game and won its first tournament since the 1924 Olympics.
Brazil vs. Canada
Brazil made history by just barely upsetting Canada for its first time ever in São Paulo. The Os Tupis were first on the score board after Daniel Sancery touched down for the first try of the game. Canada responded minutes later with a nifty try by Nick Blevins who side-stepped a few defenders to tie the match 7-7. Scrum-half Lucas Duque nailed a penalty goal to give Brazil the lead. Not to be outdone, Canada scrum-half Gordon McRorie scored a try off a line out. However, it was Duque again who striked with another penalty goal just before halftime to give Brazil the lead 17-14.
In the second half, McRorie regained the lead for the Canucks thanks to a penalty goal and drop goal. Down by six points with less than a minute left to play, Brazil slowly made progress down the field inching closer to Canada’s end of the field. Yan Rosetti found a gap and was brought down just short of the try zone and Lucas Tranquez finished off the possession with a try. Duque hit the conversion to give Brazil the lead and off the restart Canada passed the ball into touch to give Brazil the historic victory 24-23.
Uruguay vs. Chile
Chile was the first to get points on the board thanks to a penalty goal by Francisco Moller, but after that, Uruguay got things rolling. By halftime, Uruguay had scored one try thanks to Juan Echeverría and two from Leandro Leivas while Germán Albanell hit a penalty goal. Chile only managed two more penalties, one from Moller and another from Tomás Ianiszewski to make the score 24-9.
In the second half, Nicolás Freitas made some impressive steps to score an impressive try. Diego Magno followed up with another try and Freitas finished off with his second of the day. Chile scored its sole try of the day thanks to Nikola Bursic in the final moments of the match. With that Uruguay ended the ARC in an impressive third place.
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