PHILADELPHIA, PA – Things generally went as expected in Round 2 of the Americas Rugby Championship. The fact that the results were expected does not mean that the games were stale. All 3 matches had respectable crowds and some entertaining rugby. Argentina and USA both followed up their draw in Round 1 with bonus point wins, so they are now tied at the top of the table. Canada came away without the losing bonus point, and so still sit at 5 points. While they have not won, Brazil has so far earned 2 losing bonus points and lots of respect.
After two rounds, here is the table.
Our panel nailed it this week. We all went with the favorites, and we were all rewarded. Jonathan Wicklow Barberie remains tops having correctly picked 5 of the 6 matches so far.
Brazil 29 – 33 Uruguay
Leading 16-3 after 20 minutes, it was a strong start from Brazil. When Brazilian prop Wilton Rebolo was sin-binned, it looked like Uruguay would steal control of the match. From the penalty that gave them the man advantage, Uruguay called for a scrum and was quickly awarded a penalty try. Uruguay was trying to play up-tempo, expansive rugby and moments later they were back in the try zone and Brazil’s lead was down to 1 point at halftime. In the second half, fullback Daniel Sancery gathered a Lucas Duque chip for a try to put Brazil ahead 26-18. It did not take long for Uruguay to respond. They scored 2 tries from lineouts following penalties. But Brazil still weren’t done. David Harvey kicked another penalty for Brazil and with just over 10 to play, they again had the lead. Before long, though, Uruguay battered their way over the try line again for a lead that stuck.
Argentina XV 52 – 15 Chile
Though Chile kept the scoreline respectable for the first 60 minutes of the match, Argentina always looked the side that would win. When Chile had the ball, they struggled to get over the gainline. They also struggled to win their own lineouts. However, they were smart at the breakdown and won several penalties early and Matias Nordenflycht kicked well. After 45 minutes, Chile was only down a try, 19-12. Throughout the match, Argentina looked like the young side they are. Especially early in the match, they seemed to be trying to do too much at once in attack. Eventually, all that energy Chile spent trying to recover from going backward and the strong skills of the Argentinians meant that tries would be scored. And they were. Center Joaquin Paz scored 4 of Argentina’s 8 tries.
USA 30 – 22 Canada
The initial optimism that came with new coach John Mitchell to the Eagles lives for another week. For more detailed notes on the match, you can read our match recap here. Two big items: USA has now won 4 in a row over Canada, and Todd Clever did not just captain the side; he scored 3 tries in the second half.
Here is the remaining schedule. In Round 3, if Uruguay play with the same ambition they showed in Round 2, their match against Argentina will be an excellent show.
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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