USA Rugby Selects Lose to Uruguay A at Americas Pacific Challenge

USA Rugby Selects Lose to Uruguay A at Americas Pacific Challenge

Doug Coil

The USA Rugby Selects lost to Uruguay A 47-15 in their final Americas Pacific Challenge match at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo, Uruguay on Sunday, October 16. The USA Selects finished with a 1-2 record after beating Canada A 47-37 and losing to the Fiji Warriors 56-29 in the first two rounds.

The final Americas Pacific Challenge match the Argentina XV came back to beat Fiji Warriors 27-26 from an 84th minute try and conversion to claim first place with Fiji in second. Third place went to Samoa A who beat Canada 27-22 in the first match of the day. Uruguay A finished in fourth, USA Selects fifth, and Canada A finished sixth.

It was a long day for the USA Selects as the experienced front row of Uruguay A dominated the scrums. Numerous scrums penalties to the USA did not allow for significant USA possession. The USA was issued a yellow to Aagus MacLellan during the first half and then yellows to Christian Ostberg and Demecus Beach in the second half.

Match Recap

It took only two minutes for the USA Rugby Selects to take their only lead on the day. Uruguay’s loose head prop Mateo Sanguinetti was sent to the bin on a tip tackle and Ben Cima stepped up to slot the ball through the uprights for a 3-0 lead.

Four minutes later the Selects were penalized for the scrum collapsing and Jerónimo Etcheverry added a penalty kick for Uruguay to tie the match at 3 all. Etcheverry then had the opportunity for Uruguay to take the lead, as the USA was penalized with its scrum back peddling. The kick went wide, but three minutes later, another infraction had Etcheverry slotting the ball for a 6-3 lead.

After an USA attack crossed the defenses 22 meter line, the ball went back to Uruguay who quickly attacked up field and a Joaquín Dell’Acqua offload to Santiago Hernández had him going in for the first try of the match. Etcheverry converted and Uruguay A increased their lead to 13-3.

The USA Selects had no consistent pressure during the first twenty plus minutes of the match and Uruguay full back Manuel Blengio almost made the Selects pay when his kick was attempted to be fielded on a bounce. Blengio fielded the bounce, but knocked on and the Selects could breath a sigh of relief.

The second yellow of the match went to the Selects’ Angus MacLellan for repeat scrum infractions. Etcheverry added two penalty kicks while the USA played down a man, but then scored a short handed try by Jake Turnbull, who was on at prop while MacLellan was in the bin. This try was decided after a TMO and Cima then converted. The lead was cut to 19-10 with three minutes remaining until halftime.

On the restart, Uruguay attacked with Santiago Gibernau going in for a try and Etcheverry converting for a 26-10 lead at halftime.

It took only five minutes into the second half for the USA to score a try. A Martin Iosefo offload to Harry Higgins to Malon Al-Jiboori resulted in a try in the corner. Cima’s conversion went to the right of the posts and it was still a match at 26-15.

Uruguay left little doubt who was in control of the match as they attacked from a rolling maul. MacLellan was pinged for a side entry and the ball was kicked to touch for Uruguay lineout. Uruguay won the lineout turned into a maul, but were penalized for being off sides. This allowed the USA to clear.

Several minutes later there was another scrum penalty by the Selects. Etcheverry once again left points on the table, as his kick was wide right. This happened again a few minutes later.

Martin Iosefo was able to find a gap in the defense, but this attack was thwarted by another penalty. Soon after a yellow card went to Christian Ostberg for a side entry on a rolling maul. Uruguay took advantage of the Selects being a man down again as Diego Magno went over for a try and Etcheverry converted for a 33-15 lead.

The Selects scrum was penalized again and Demecus Beach went to the bin and were down to 13 men. Nine minutes went by as the Selects defended, but a pop pass from Guillermo Lijtenstein to Joaquín Prada for a try that was converted sealed the outcome as Urugay A had a 40-15 lead with five minutes left.

Uruguay A then took advantage of the Selects back peddling on their scrum put in and the ball was passed to Rodrigo Silva for a try and conversion for the 47-15 win.

Captain Joe Taufete’e of the Selects had a busy day in the front row with the scrum as scrum infractions caused him to play all three fron row positions. Angus MacLellan also needed to play both loose head and tight head prop positions.

In spite of numerous scrum penalties against a more experienced Uruguay A side, the Selects players gained valuable international experience. As such, the Americas Pacific Challenge was a success.

USA Rugby Selects v. Uruguay ‘A’
1. Angus MacLellan 2. Joseph Taufete’e (C) 3. Alex Maughan 4. Matt Jensen 5. Harry Higgins 6. Malon Al-Jiboori 7. Aladdin Schirmer 8. Cecil Garber 9. Nicklas Boyer 10. Benjamin Cima 11. Mataiyasi Leuta 12. Bryce Campbell 13. Martin Iosefo 14. Brett Thompson 15. Mike Te’o 16. Hanco Germishuys 17. Jake Turnbull 18. Demecus Beach 19. Christian Ostberg 20. Pat Blair 21. Stephen Tomasin 22. Jean-Pierre Eloff 23. Ahmad Harajly

Uruguay ‘A’ v. USA
1. Mateo Sanguinetti 2. Martín Espiga 3. Mario Sagario (C) 4. Diego Magno 5. Manuel Leindekar 6. Joaquín Dell’Acqua 7. Santiago Hernández 8. Manuel Diana 9. Santiago Arata 10. Jerónimo Etcheverry 11. Nicolás Freitas 12. Juan Manuel Cat 13. Santiago Gibernau 14. Rodrigo Silva 15. Manuel Blengio 16. Marcos Chamyan 17. Ignacio Secco 18. Juan Echeverría
19. Lorenzo Surraco 20. Fernando Bascou 21. Guillermo Lijtenstein 22. Andrés Rocco 23. Joaguín Prada

Americas Pacific Challenge | Tournament Schedule

Round Date Team Team Time (ET)
1 Oct. 8 Argentina XV 56-29 Canada A 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
12-62 Fiji Warriors 1:15 p.m.
Samoa A 44-42 Uruguay A 3:30 p.m.
2 Oct. 12 Samoa A 26-39 Fiji Warriors 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
47-37 Canada A 1:15 p.m.
Argentina XV 71-7 Uruguay A 3:30 p.m.
3 Oct. 16 Samoa A 27-22 Canada A 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
15-47 Uruguay A 1:15 p.m.
Argentina XV v Fiji Warriors 3:30 p.m.

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