PHILADELPHIA, PA – Round 4 of the Americas Rugby Championship is the first to be played entirely in South America. For the North Americans, it gives us a chance to work on our Spanish comprehension skills as the streams will all be in Spanish. Regardless of language, the tournament has seen a lot of scoring. There have been 68 tries, by my count, scored in the ARC over 9 matches.
Looking at our panel’s picks for Round 4, Junior Blaber and I are both hoping that there are some treasures in North America’s attic and predicting a Canadian win over Argentina. The panel expects it will be another tough weekend for Chile and Brazil.
Brazil v USA
USA should have the athletes to win comfortably, but this lineup is inexperienced. When the USA has struggled, it has been because of lack of teamwork and communication. When things get loose, it isn’t clear who in this lineup will get the team back into its structure. And with no Luke Hume and JP Eloff on the bench, it isn’t clear where the line breaks will come from. For Brazil, the absence of David Harvey means that they are still looking for the best backline combination. Moises Duque was the key decision-maker from set piece against Canada, so it makes sense that he moves from 12 to 10. Brazil has shown sharpness in attack and plenty of fight, so the scoreline will be much closer than the romp USA had against Chile.
Kick-off: Saturday, 12:00pm EST
Location: Arena Barueri, Sao Paolo, BRA
Brazil: 1 Lucas Abud 2 Yan Rosetti 3 Wilton Rebolo 4 Lucas Piero Moraes 5 Luis Vieira 6 Andre Arruda 7 Joao Luiz das Ros 8 Nicholas Smith 9 Lucas Duque 10 Moises Duque 11 Laurent Couhet 12 Martin Schaefer 13 Felipe Sancery 14 Stefano Giantorno 15 Daniel Sancery 16 Daniel Danielewicz 17 Caique Silva 18 Jonatas Paulo 19 Diego López 20 Gabriel Paganini 21 Guilherme Coghetto 22 Johannes Beukes Cremer 23 Robert Tenorio
USA: 1 Demecus Beach 2 Joe Taufetee 3 Oliver Kilifi (cap) 4 Brodie Orth 5 Ben Landry 6 James King 7 Aladdin Schirmer 8 David Tameilau 9 Niku Kruger 10 James Bird 11 Ryan Matyas 12 Andrew Sunuila 13 Mike Garrity 14 Kingsley McGowan 15 Jake Anderson 16 Cameron Falcon 17 Eric Fry 18 Mike Sosene-Feagai 19 Hanco Germishuys 20 Mike Teo 21 JP Eloff 22 Tim Stanfill 23 Chad London
Chile v Uruguay
Chile has been the weakest attacking side of the competition. They were shut out last weekend against USA, and they didn’t score any tries against Argentina the weekend before. This is another chance for Uruguay to play with ambition and keep the pressure on Chile. Uruguay had chances to pull away from Argentina last weekend, but couldn’t quite manage the upset. This weekend is a chance to make amends for those lost opportunities. As Chile host its second match, here is hoping for fewer creepy crowd shots by the camera operators, and that the dog who was hanging out on the pitch during the Brazil match comes back. “Oh, hey guys! What’s over here? Wait. Where are you all going? Don’t run away!” After this moment, he went and found some shade closer to the try line.
Kick-off: Saturday, 4:00pm EST
Location: CARR, Le Reina, Santiago, CHI
Chile: 1 Nicolás Venegas 2 Rodrigo Moya 3 Luis Sepúlveda 4 Nikola Bursic 5 Raimundo Piwonka 6 Cristóbal Niedmann 7 Javier Richard 8 Benjamín Soto (cap) 9 Beltrán Vergara 10 Cristian Onetto 11 Ítalo Zunino 12 Francisco de la Fuente 13 Matías Nordenflycht 14 José Ignacio Larenas 15 Leonardo Montoya 16 Manuel Gurruchaga 17 Roberto Oyarzun 18 José Tomás Munita 19 Ignacio Silva 20 Ignacio Álvarez 21 Matthieu Manas 22 Pablo Casas 23 Matías Contreras
Uruguay: 1 Mateo Sanguinetti 2 Germán Kessler 3 Juan Echeverría 4 Diego Magno 5 Mathias Palomeque 6 Juan Gaminara (cap) 7 Matías Beer 8 Alejandro Nieto 9 Guillermo Lietjenstein 10 Martín Secco 11 Leandro Leivas 12 Alberto Román 13 Andrés Vilaseca 14 Federico Favaro 15 Rodrigo Silva. Carlos Arboleya 17 Facundo Gattas 18 Rafael Mones 19 Gonzalo Soto 20 Juan Diego Ormaechea 21 Manuel Blengio 22 Santiago Arata 23 Pedro Deal
Argentina XV v Canada
Coming into Round 4, Canada is the squad that has seen the greatest consistency in selection; Argentina has had the least consistent selection. By my count, Argentina used 16 more players over 3 matches than Canada, and that gap will only grow this weekend. Canada have beat Uruguay and Brazil in matches that never looked like they would end with a different result. In their loss to the USA, Canada played a very composed first half before letting things slip away in the second half. Does it sound like I am trying to justify my decision to pick them over Argentina? Do you think I am leaving out important information by not mentioning the inclusion of Lucas González Amorosino and Juan Manuel Leguizamón in the Argentina squad? Whatever. A win this weekend allows Canada to call their performance in this tournament a success.
Kick-off: Sunday, 3:10pm EST
Location: Dundes Club, Rosario, ARG
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