PHILADELPHIA, PA – In their first 3 matches of the Americas Rugby Championship, Brasil Rugby played some laudable rugby and proved they were in the competition as a real threat. Against the USA on Saturday night, they got their first win, 24-23. The winning points of the Brazil upset came after the final hooter from the boot of Moises Duque.
The USA stuttered and spluttered in the first half in Sao Paolo. Brazil landed 2 penalties and scored 2 tries before the Eagles got on the scoreboard. The USA did get into Brazil territory early, but quickly gave up possession. Brazil, in stark contrast, scored an incisive try from counterattack 14 minutes in. Daniel Sancery finished the move and claimed the try. At 23′, USA had a scrum feed deep inside their own 22, but Brazil stole the scrum and Lucas Duque darted over for their second try.
At 30′, Eagles’ captain Olive Kilifi opted for the conservative approach after winning a penalty and gave James Bird the chance at 3 points, which he made – 18-3 to Brazil. Young Demecus Beach was removed 35 minutes in with Eric Fry coming on. Several minutes later, Kilifi opted for the corner from a penalty and the Eagles turned that lineout possession into a try. Joseph Taufete’e was the scorer, but the try was unconverted and it was 18-8 at the half.
Early in the second half, Brazil had an attacking 5 meter scrum, but Fry made a difference and Brazil conceded the penalty. That seemed to shift momentum slightly. After Bird made a break, it was Aladdin Shirmer who was able to collect a pass from Niku Kruger and score on debut. A few minutes later, Moises Duque kicked another penalty to make the score 21-13.
The Eagles continued to fight back. Some good decisions and passing by Andew Suniula and Bird put Mike Te’o into some space. Te’o made a great offload to Kruger to score the try. After the conversion, the Eagles were just down 1. With about 10 minutes to go, USA had a lineout 8 meters out. They could not get the maul driving, but several phases later won a penalty in front of the posts. Kruger knocked it over and put the Eagles into the lead. From there, both sides were guilty of some poor kicking and poor handling.
With about 2 minutes to play, the Eagles decided to pick and go, trying to grind out the win. A penalty at the ruck gave Brazil a chance to pick up territory, and a penalty from the maul after the lineout gave Moises Duque the chance to be a hero.
The Eagles struggle was collective; there is no single goat in this upset. Meanwhile, Brazil took the chances they had from start to finish.
Next weekend, it is Argentina for Brazil and Uruguay for USA.
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
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