USA Men’s Junior All-Americans Beat Canada In U20 Trophy Qualifier

February 14, 2016

USA Men’s Junior All-Americans  Beat Canada In U20 Trophy Qualifier

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Doug Coil

USA MJAA v Canada U20-Trophy Qualifier: Round Rock, Texas – Feb. 13, 2016

The USA Rugby AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans defeated Canada 19-18 at Dell Diamond Saturday, earning a place in this spring’s World Rugby U20 Trophy in Zimbabwe.

Fly half Ben Cima cemented the win for the United States with a last-second penalty kick from beyond midfield. It was a dramatic victory and one to remember for interim Head Coach JD Stephenson in his first match leading the under-20 national team.

He said, “[The win] is a testament to the boys. They’re extraordinary leaders on and off of the pitch. We’ve been working on pressured scenarios all week and a lot of situational awareness.”

Ben Cima, who would have four penalty kicks on the night, kciked the first three minutes into the match for a 3-0 lead. Trenton Cooper try in the corner then had Canada take a 5-3 lead. (10′)

Cima kicked off the scoring in the third minute of play, kicking his first of four penalties for a 3-0 lead to the All-Americans. Canada hit right back with a try in the corner from wing Trenton Cooper before the 10th minute, however, to take a 5-3 advantage.

The MJAA defended well and their contributions set up Cima’s third penalty kick for a 9-5 lead. (26′)

Cima had a late first half opportunity when he kicked at goal from midfield, but it was short. Canada’s Robbie Povey narrowed the score to 9-8 with a kick of his own, before a Peter Milazzo try had Canada leading 15-9 at halftime.

Second Half

The USA had an early second half threat from scrumhalf Louis Mulholland as he intercepted a pass at midfield. A penalty ensued, but Cima’s difficult penalty kick was missed.

At MJAAs took the lead with 30 minutes to play when they won a 5 meter  lineout. Quick ball from Mulholland to Cima to Lorenzo Thomas resulted in a try. Cima converted and the USA had a 16-15 lead.

Canada was able to regain the lead with four minutes to play with a penalty kick to regain the lead 18-16.

The MJAAs fought back and it almost resulted in a try with one minute remaining in the corner. However a penalty was called and Captain Hanco Germishuys pointed to the posts. Cima attempt was just wide.

That was not the end, however, as Cima kicked from beyond midfield to seal the win on the last play of the match.

“Ben controlled the ship well, used his foot effectively, and played smart rugby,” Stephenson said of the young club player that was part of the Men’s Eagles’ Rugby World Cup 2015 training squad last year. “Sometimes he had us pulling our hair, but, ultimately, that’s what good players do: they step up and they execute in the end when the game’s on the line.”

The MJAAs will now be part of the World Rugby U20 Trophy international tournament in Appril in Zimbabwe. The filed includes host Zimbabwe, Fiji, Hong Kong, Namibia, Samoa, Spain, and Uruguay.

AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans: 19
Tries: Thomas Conversions: Cima Penalties: Cima (4)

Canada: 18
Tries: Cooper, Milazzo Conversions: Povey Penalties: Povey (2)

AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans:  1. Connor Cudeback 2. Steven Branham 3. Nick Kwasniewski 4. Sean Coleman 5. Malon Al-Jiboori 6. Uki Taumoefolau 7. Brennan Falcon 8. Hanco Germishuys (C) 9. Louis Mulholland 10. Ben Cima 11. Deion Mikesell 12. Brian Hannon 13. Lorenzo Thomas 14. Tyler Sousley 15. Mitchell Wilson 16. Zachary Haley 17. Chance Wenglewski 18. Mason Pedersen 19. Joshua Warnock 20. George Fotu 21. Ruben de Haas 22. Rodney Giles 23. Devin Lim Coaching Staff:  JD Stephenson – Interim Head Coach,  Justin Goonan – Strength and Conditioning & Skills Coach,  Pete Borlase – Forwards Coach,  James Walton – Video Analyst,  Michael Engelbrecht – Backs Coach & Manager,  David Fee – Skills Coach,  Scott Lawrence – Technical Advisor,  Kevin Battle – Skills Coach & Academy Manager

Canada U20:  1. Cali Martinez 2. Andrew Quattrin 3. Matt Tierney 4. Reegan O’Gorman 5. Conor Keys 6. Adrian Wadden 7. Nakai Penny 8. Luke Bradley 9. Cole Keffer 10. Robbie Povey 11. Theo Sauder 12. George Barton 13. Phil Berna 14. Trenton Cooper 15. Andrew Coe (C) 16. Conor Sampson 17. Brendan Blaikie 18. Curtis Delmonico 19. Matt Beukeboom 20. Peter Milazzo 21. Keaton Porter 22. Mitch Richardson 23. Aaron Evison Coaching Staff: Head Coach – Jeff Williams, Assistant Coach – Kenny Goodland, Strength and Conditioning coach – Gareth Lynch, Manager – Jack Hanratty, Video Analyst – Aaron Takle, Head Therapist – Jessica Smith

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