The USA Men’s Eagles held off Argentina XV to win 17-10, to begin their title Americas Rugby Championship defense.
The USA dominated the early possession, however, five minutes into the match, Marcel Brache needed to be replaced by Dyan Audsley after a no wrap late tackle by Juan Cappiello, who was sent to the bin. It is hoped that the hit to Brace’s knee is not severe. The ensuing penalty kick by Will Magie was missed.
Argentina XV then had a sustained run into USA territory, before electing to kick for points after a USA penalty. Juan Cruz González also missed the penalty attempt.
A few minutes later the Eagles had another opportunity at goal and this time Magee slotted the ball through the posts for a 3-0 lead.
Titi Lamositele was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle. Argentina elected to kick for touch instead of a penalty kick and were repelled by the staunch Eagles defense. They finally settled for a penalty in the 30th minute by Juan Cruz Gonzalez to tie the match at 3 all.
Argentina placed the Eagles under pressure for most of the remaining ten minutes of the first half and with Argentina attacking near the try line, Cam Dolan was cited for an intentional knock-on during an attempted intercept and sent to the bin.
Argentina XV elected a scrum and No. 8 Santiago Montagner barrelled over for a try, which was then converted by Gonzalez for a 10-3 lead into the break.
The Eagles quickly narrowed the score to 10-6 after a high tackle by Juan Cappiello, as Magee slotted a penalty kick.
Argentina appeared to answer right back after a Cappiello break with Santiago Montagner cutting inside Mike Te’o for an apparent try. The TMO however, revealed a neck roll by Bavaro on Nate Brakeley, so the try was voided and Magee cleared the ball.
Argentina then kept the pressure on the USA with several minutes of sustained attacks. The Eagles defense held and they went through multiple phases before attacking from a 5-meter scrum. Cam Dolan went over the line, but the ball was held up. Three scrums later, Tony Lamborn powered through two defenders for a try near the left corner. Magee missed the conversion, but the Eagles had an 11-10 lead.
With about 16 minutes remaining, both teams substituted their reserves. This gave a spark for the Eagles attack and after an offsides call on Bruni, Will Hooley slotted a penalty kick increasing the lead to 14-10. He would slot another with five minutes left for a 17-10 lead.
Argentina XV placed the Eagles defense under sustained pressure into extra time. Hilterbrand and Civetta held up an Argentina player for a scrum. A penalty was called with Cam Dolan being unable to roll away at a breakdown, gave the ball back to Argentina near in-goal. Argentina repeatedly assaulted the line. In the 84th minute, it appeared that Argentina XV had scored a try with Rodrigo Bruni going over the line in the grasp of Hanco Germishuys. A TMO resulted that clearly showed Bruni losing control of the ball in his attempt at grounding to end the match with a 17-10 USA win.
In the inaugural 2016 Americas Rugby Championship the USA and Argentina Xv tied 35 all. Argentina won the Championship with the Eagles, as runners-up. In 2017 the places were reversed, however, the teams tied again 27 all. The 2018 match was another tough match with Argentina knocking on the door in the closing minutes to tie the match. The Eagles escaped with a 17-10 win and hope that this will spur them on to defending the title.
The Eagles will host Canada next week in Sacramento with tickets being available from usarugby.org/tickets. The match will be broadcast by The Rugby Channel, as well as in two weeks against Chile.
Both Dylan Audsley and Will Hooley debuted for the Eagles in an entertaining and hard-fought match. The Eagles were a physical team, who defended well and attacked when opportunities arose. They beat a very good Argentina XV team and should be proud of their accomplishments.
The Eagles continue to build depth in the team and players will need to step up when the team goes to South America and plays both Uruguay and Brazil.
In other action involving ARC teams, Uruguay beat Canada 32-26 in the second Rugby World Cup 2019 qualifier and will be the Americas 2 representative. Canada will have one last chance in November in a four-team round robin repechage tournament. Last week Uruguay beat Canada in Vancouver to open up the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship.
Chile hosted Brazil on Saturday, losing 16-14.
Americas Rugby Championship Standings
After the completion of round one play, Uruguay leads the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship with a 1-0 record and 5 points. The USA and Brazil also have 1-0 records and have 4 points. Canada, Argentina XV, and Chile are 0-1, however, Canada picked up a bonus point in their loss to Uruguay.
USA Men’s Eagles – 2018 Americas Rugby Championship: 1 Titi Lamositele 2 Joe Taufete’e 3 Dino Waldren 4 Nate Brakeley 5 Nick Civetta 6 Hanco Germishuys 7 Tony Lamborn 8 Cam Dolan 9 Nate Augspurger 10 Will Magie 11 Ryan Matyas 12 Bryce Campbell 13 Marcel Brache 14 Blaine Scully (C) 15 Mike Te’o 16 James Hilterbrand 17 Huluholo Moungaloa 18 Angus Maclellan 19 Ben Landry 20 Andrew Durutalo 21 Shaun Davies 22 Will Hooley 23 Dylan Audsley
Men’s Eagles Staff – 2018 Americas Rugby Championship
Gary Gold: Head Coach
Greg McWilliams: Assistant Coach – Backs & Attack
Scott Lawrence: Assistant Coach – Defense
Shawn Pittman: Assistant Coach – Set Piece
Chris Hanson: Team Manager
Jimmy Harrison: Analyst
Kevin Ng: Head ATC
Brian Finn: Assistant ATC (Jan. 24 – Feb. 17)
Dr. Richard Kim: Team Doctor (Jan. 24 – Feb. 3)
Dr. Mark Sakr: Team Doctor (Feb. 4 – Feb. 10)
Dr. Deborah Light: Team Doctor (Feb. 11 – Feb. 17)
Dr. Jeff Mjaanes: Team Doctor (Feb. 18 – Mar. 4)
Dave Hodges: Men’s Eagles General Manager
Argentina XV: 1- Francisco Ferronato, 2- Gaspar Baldunciel, 3- Benjamín Espinal, 4- Jerónimo Ureta, 5- Ignacio Larrague, 6- Rodrigo Bruni, 7- Lautaro Bavaro (C), 8- Santiago Montagner, 9- Luca Magnasco, 10- Juan Cruz González, 11- Rodrigo Etchart, 12- Juan Cappiello, 13- Juan Cruz Mallía, 14- Germán Schulz, 15- Gastón Arias 16- Diego Fortuny, 17- Javier Díaz, 18- Santiago Medrano, 19- Santiago Portillo, 20- Francisco Gorrisen, 21- Facundo Nogueira, 22- Tomás Granella, 23- Tomás Malanos
Coaches: Felipe Contepomi, Ignacio Fernández Lobbe y Diego Ternavasio.
Read the USA v Argentina XV Preview!
The USA Men’s Eagles Americas Rugby Championship Expanded Squad
The USA Forwards: Titi Lamositele (Saracens, UK), Angus MacLellan (Utah Warriors), Huluholo Mo’ungaloa (Life West), Anthony Purpura San Diego Legion), Paddy Ryan (Austin Elite), Dino Waldren (London Scottish, UK), Chance Wenglewski (Lindenwood), Dylan Fawsitt (Old Blue), James Hilterbrand (Sydney Rays, AU), Peter Malcolm (Austin Elite), Joe Taufete’e (Worcester Warriors, UK), Nate Brakeley (NYAC), Nick Civetta (Newcastle Falcons, UK), Brendan Daly (SFGG), Matt Jensen (Utah Warriors), Ben Landry (Glendale Raptors), Malon Al-Jiboori (USA 7s), Cam Dolan (San Diego Legion), Hanco Germishuys (Austin Elite), Tony Lamborn (Hawke’s Bay, NZ), Aladdin Schirmer (Seattle Seawolves), Psalm Wooching (Seattle Saracens)
Backs: Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion), Shaun Davies (Glendale Raptors), Ruben de Haas (Free State, SA), Devereaux Ferris (Life West), Ben Cima (San Diego Legion), Will Hooley (Bedford Blues, UK), Will Magie (Glendale Raptors), Dylan Audsley (San Diego Legion), Marcel Brache (Perth Spirit, AU), Bryce Campbell (Glendale Raptors), Paul Lasike (Utah Warriors), Alex Elkins (USA 7s), Ryan Matyas (San Diego Legion), Peni Tagive (USA 7s), Josh Whippy (Utah Warriors), Blaine Scully (Cardiff Blues, UK), Mike Te’o (San Diego Legion)
Argentina XV extended ARC 2018 Squad
Argentina XV: Gaspar Baldunciel (Hooker), Cristian Bartoloni (prop), Lautaro Bavaro (Backrow), Franco Brarda (prop), Rodrigo Bruni (backrow), Juan Cappiello (center), Franco Cuaranta (wing), Bruno Devoto (center), Julián Domínguez (wing), Francisco Ferronato (prop), Francisco Gorrisen (backrow), Juan Cruz Guillemaín (lock), Fernando Luna (wing), Santiago Medrano (prop), Santiago Montagner (backrow), Pedro Ortega (lock), Mariano Romanini (lock), Segundo Tuculet (center), Lautaro Bazán Vélez (scrum-half), Joaquín Díaz Bonilla (fly-half), Martín Elías (fullback), Felipe Ezcurra (scrum-half), Facundo Gigena (prop), Ignacio Larrague (lock), Santiago Mare (center), Santiago Portillo (backrow), Franco Sábato (wing), Roberto Tejerizo (prop)
USA Men’s Eagles – 2018 Americas Rugby Championship
vs Argentina XV Sat, Feb. 3 StubHub Center, Los Angeles, CA – W 17-10
vs Canada Sat, Feb. 10 | 6 PM ET, Papa Murphy’s Park, Sacramento, CA
vs Chile, Sat, Feb. 17 | 5 PM ET, Titan Stadium, Fullerton, CA
vs Brazil, Sat, Feb. 24 | 2:40 PM ET, Martins Pereira Stadium, Sao Jose Dos Campos, Brazil
vs Uruguay, Sat, Mar. 3 | 1:30 PM Estadio Charrua, Montevideo, Uruguay