PHILADELPHIA, PA – The Americas Rugby Championship is now past the halfway mark with 3 rounds complete and 2 to go. After Round 3, the USA are alone at the top of the table following their 64-0 win over Chile. Uruguay pushed the Argentina XV until the end before losing 24-21. In British Columbia, Canada put in a convincing performance against Brazil, winning 52-25.
Because Argentina did not score 4 tries, they did not get the winning bonus point. That bonus point is what separates them from USA. Here is the current table.
Our panel again went with the favorites, and the favorites again came through. JWB’s current record is a thing to behold. We shall see if he can keep this rate up for the last two rounds.
Canada 52-25 Brazil
The Canadians were on the board early with two tries by backrowers. First, it was Lucas Rumball then it was Clay Panga. Both tries were set up by some strong running from the Canadian centers, and both loose forwards ended up with two tries apiece before the match was over. Johannes Beukes Cremer, the Brazil 9, scored a great individual try, fending off 2 Canadian defenders after the ball came out sloppily from a scrum. The second Brazil try was set up by a break by Moises Duque and finished by fullback Daniel Sancery. The third Brazil try was a pick-and-go affair scored by Joao Luiz da Ros. The Canadian bench made a difference as Eric Howard and Rob Brouwer had big runs to help set up a try by Paul Ciulini. Michael Hamson scored the final Canadian try from the back of a driving maul against a Brazilian pack that looked exhausted.
Uruguay 21-24 Argentina XV
Argentina won again despite playing like the developmental squad they are. Argentina scored first, but Uruguay hit back with a penalty goal a try of their own that came from a series of picks-and-gos after a scrum. That put them into the lead and they stayed there until minute 64 when Argentina tied it up at 21-21. Uruguay played with ambition, tackled relatively well, and Argentina made quite a few silly mistakes that cost them possession and territory. The try below by Federico Favaro epitomizes the costly mistakes the Argentines were making. This play went from a potentially horrible kick by Uruguay (if it’d gone directly into touch) into a try for Uruguay.
At halftime, Argentina were trailing 18-7, but they scored at try almost immediately in the second half. About 5 minutes later, Uruguay won a penalty from a scrum that became 3 points, but after 47 minutes, Uruguay were done scoring. A long period of Argentine pressure resulted in a yellow card for Mathias Palomeque for not releasing a tackled player inches from the try line. Uruguay had a chance but couldn’t manage to get the ball out of the 22, and Juan Cappiello scored a bruising try which, when converted, tied the match with just over 15 minutes to play. With less than 10 to play, Uruguay conceded a scrum penalty on their own put in 45 meters out and Pedro Mercerat‘s kick from there was the difference in the match.
USA 64-0 Chile
The most lopsided scoreline of the tournament so far; the Eagles scored 10 tries. For more, read the match recap here.
Next weekend, the closest match should be Argentina hosting Canada. We shall see how many of the Argentine XV remain in place for Round 4.
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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