NEW YORK, NY – Round 3 of the Americas Rugby Championship is now complete. The favorites are playing like favorites, so it will be an interesting final two rounds. As it stands, Argentina is in first place but the USA is chasing hard. It looks like that the eventual match-up between the two nations will be the title decider. However, there were plenty of matches worth our time. With that, let’s take a look back.
Round 3 review:
Chile 10-45 Argentina
If you read my round 3 preview, I claimed that everyone including the mamas of the Chilean players knew they were going to be in for a whooping. As expected the Argentina XV were too much for the Condors of Chile to handle. The match was not 100% one way traffic from start to finish, it was actually a close match in the first half, because least we forget Chile were playing in front of their home fans and they were not going to go down without a fight. So when the match kicked off, Chile were in fighting form and the actually held the lead for the first 10 minutes courtesy of a converted penalty kick. That would be the one and only time the Chileans were on top.
From that point forward, the Argies slowly began to take a foothold then a stranglehold of the match. It began with a try at the 15 minute mark then one more at the halfway mark. In the second half, the guests poured on 4 more tries to put the game away. For a bit confidence and to cheer up their home fans, the Condors managed to score their one and only try of the match in the 68th minute.
The match put the Argies in a strong position to win the tournament again, with a full collection of bonus points in every match and very impressive points differential.
Uruguay 23-12 Brazil
After defeating the USA in the final round of last year’s championship, and then Chile in the first round of this year’s championship, Brazil have made it know that on their day, they are a dangerous proposition. The Brazilian style of play is one for rugby purest – ugly, but effective. Going into this match, Uruguay was desperate to get back on track after two big losses. The Teros were going to play direct and look to overpower the boys from Brazil for the win. It was essentially a match for fourth place but a decider in whether Uruguay were slipping down to fifth and Brazil moving up or that things were all still the same.
The match was tight affair and went back and forth. Brazil, with strong forward play and kicking, looked to punish Uruguay for any transgression. Their 12 points all came from penalties. Unfortunately, Uruguay was trading tries with Brazil’s penalties, as the hosts managed to score four on the day. The Brazil attack never threatened the Uruguay tryline and at the end of the day, that was the difference.
Canada 34-51 USA
The USA Eagles set a record for themselves in the amount of tries scored and their margin of victory against the enemy from the north. I favored the Canadian backline in the preview but thought the USA back-row would play a key role. I was were wrong about the former but correct on the latter. The USA backline was in rare form as fullback Mikey Te’o scored a hat trick in the match. Te’o scored early in the match, midway and late in the match as he was ever-present in attack through the game. USA back-rowers Todd Clever and John Quill got into the act themselves as they scored a try each.
Canada’s in-form wing Taylor Paris scored two tries of his own but it was not enough to help his side. The Canadians did bring the fight, but the USA proved to be much more clinical with the ball in hand and that would be the difference in the match.
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