All-Americans Face Tough Road to Qualify for World Rugby U20 Trophy after Loss to Canada

June 13, 2017

All-Americans Face Tough Road to Qualify for World Rugby U20 Trophy after Loss to Canada


Photo: AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans

Doug Coil

The USA Rugby AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans will have a difficult time qualifying for the World Rugby U20 Trophy after Canada’s U20 team’s 46-12 win at Ellerslie Rugby Park in Edmonton Tuesday. Not only will the USA need to win on Saturday, but they will need to make up a 34 point deficit. The second leg will be on June 17 at Ellerslie Rugby Park with the kick off at 2pm ET. The match will once again be streamed live via Rugby Canada’s Facebook page. The winner of this qualifier will represent North America in Montevideo, Uruguay, in September.

The match Tuesday was a close one for the first half with lock Daemon Torres and Captain Malon Al-Jiboori scoring first-half tries and Ruben de Hass adding a conversion. Canada took a 19-12 lead into halftime after tries by lock Matt Beukeboom, wing Anton Ngongo and Jake Thiel. Will Kelly added two conversions.

During the second half, the floodgates opened as Canada added four tries by Aidan McMullan, Fraser Hurst, Jamie McNaughton and Cole Davis, as well as a penalty kick and two conversions by Will Kelly to make the final score 46-12.

The ball handling during the match for both sides was an issue, as numerous scrums resulted from knocks. This played to Canada’s advantage as they had the USA on their back foot many times.

Canada knocked on the opening restart and after a penalty, the Junior All-Americans kicked for touch and used the lineout to attack. Jack Iscaro went into contact and Daemon Torres finished this effort with a try for a 5-0 lead.

It was the MJAAs turn to knock on the restart. A scrum infraction then had Canada kicking for territory and after the ensuing 5 meter lineout, a maul was brought down. Canada elected a scrum and Matt Beukeboom went in for a try to knot the match at 5 all.

Canada took its first lead in the ninth minute as Anton Ngongo found space out wide after a Lorenzo Thomas had deflected a pass and he went in for a 12-5 lead.

Cristian Rodriguez showed his both his speed and finesse with his line breaks. The USA nearly benefited from the USA attack as Lorenzo Thomas barrelled over for an apparent try. Chris Assmus, the referee, however determined that the ball was lost forward when attempting to ground.

Canada added a third try after a chip by Josh Thiel and soonafter Jake Thiel broke a tackle for a try to increase the lead to 19-5. Malon Al-Jiboori then added a try for the USA with four minutes remaining before halftime to narrow the score to 19-12.

It was all Canada in the second half as full back Aidan McMullan line break added Canada’s fourth try. Lorenzo Thomas and Daemon Torres then nearly created a scoring opportunity for the USA. A turnover thwarted this effort as Canada cleared and a penalty resulted in Will Kelly’s slotting a 51st minute kick to increase the lead to 29-12.

Scrum half Fraser Hurst extended the lead to 34-12 after runs by Will Kelly and James O’Neill got within 10 meters of the try line. Kelly A missed a penalty kick soon after.

With only five minutes remaining and the MJAAs attacking deep from their territory, Jamie McNaughton intercepted a pass and added a try. after the restart Cole Davis went 90 meters for the final try and a 46-12 win.

Those interested in attending the match, will need to purchase a ticket for the international test match between Canada and Romania.

AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans: 1. Chance Wenglewski 2. Jack Iscaro 3. Jake Jorstad 4. Daemon Torres 5. Deven Marshall 6. Malon Al-Jiboori (C) 7. Nafi Maafu 8. Brian Nault 9. Ruben De Haas 10. Samuel Walsh 11. Harley Wheeler 12. Aaron Matthews 13. Lorenzo Thomas 14. Jaret Williamson 15. Cristian Rodriguez 16. Martin Keuchkerian 17. Payton Telea 18. Jordan Crofts 19. Tommy Clark 20. Justin Johnson 21. Eamonn Matthews 22. Christian Dyer 23. Peter Howard

AIG All-Americans Coaching Staff:

  • JD Stephenson – Head Coach
  • Rob Randell – Assistant Coach
  • Colton Cariaga – Assistant Coach
  • Chris Oosthuizen – Assistant Coach
  • Justin Goonan – Strength and Conditioning Coach
  • Jimmy Harrison – Analyst
  • Alan Wallace – Physiotherapist
  • Mike Elam – Manager

Canada: 1. Liam Murray 2. Dewald Kotze 3. Cole Keith 4. Liam Doll 5. Matt Beukeboom 6. Lachlan Currie 7. James O’Neill 8. Jake Thiel 9. Fraser Hurst 10. Will Kelly 11. Elias Ergas 12. Josh Thiel 13. George Barton (C) 14. Anton Ngongo 15. Aidan McMullan 16. Steven Ng 17. Connor Sampson 18. Nick Frost 19. Jamie McNaughton 20. Jack McRogers 21. Will Percillier 22. Brennig Prevost 23. Cole Davis

Canada U20 Canada Coaching Staff:

  • Jeff Williams – Head Coach
  • Dave Butcher – Assistant Coach
  • Sean McDonaugh – Assistant Coach
  • Kiyomi Thompson – Athletic Therapist
  • Jeff Watson – S&C Coach
  • Derek Pue – Analyst
  • Alana Gattinger – Team Manager

AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans 12
Tries: TDaemon Torres, Malon Al-Jiboori Conversions: Ruben De Haas 

Canada 46
Tries: Matt Beukeboom, Anton Ngongo, Josh Thiel, Aidan McMullan, Fraser Hurst, Jamie McNaughton, Cole Davis Conversions: Will Kelly (4) Penalties: Will Kelly

AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans World Rugby U20 Trophy qualifiers
v. Canada – L 46-12
v. Canada – Saturday, June 17 @ 2 p.m. ET – Ellerslie Rugby Park (Edmonton, Alberta)

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant