The USA Rugby Men’s National Team faced two-time runners-up Argentina XV in the second round of the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 on Saturday, Feb 9 in Argentina.
AJ MacGinty kicked to open the match and Felipe Ezcurra executed a box kick that was tapped back into Argentinan hands. The ball went wide left with Julian Dominguez racing down touch and offloading to Santiago Carreras for a try. Martin Elias slotted the conversion to a 7-0 lead.
Argentina XV attacked from a lineout after a penalty, taking the ball inside and Lucas Favre finished the attack with a try and an Elias conversion for a 14-0 lead.
The USA finally had a chance to attack and went throw multiple phases before a knock on resulted in a scrum to Argentina outside their 22-meters.
After some back and forth by both teams, the USA attacked to within a meter from in-goal, but Joe Taufete’e was isolated and penalized for not releasing. This thwarted the Eagles scoring attempt.
Argentina pushed their lead to 21-0 after going through phases and Gaspar Baldunciel evaded two USA defenders for a try and a conversion by Elias.
Thirty minutes into the match Paul Lasike was held in the breakdown and he retaliated pushing the Argentina player twice in an effort for him to release and then stomped on his back. After a TMO, Lasike was issued a red card.
Argentina tried to take advantage of the USA being down a man and attacked down the left side with Lautaro Bavaro grounding attempt held up by Gannon Moore. From the ensuing Argentina 5-meter scrum, the Eagles were penalized. Argentina elected another scrum and the Eagles took a critical tighthead. Argentina then attacked from a lineout and Cam Dolan intercepted the ball and raced to the Argentina 22-meters before the ball went into touch.
During the first half, Argentina controlled the early possession and scored two quick tries. They added a third after a red card by Paull Lasike. The USA had a few attacking opportunities, but handling errors or penalties thwarted their attempts. The team will face an uphill battle to come back from the 21 point deficit being down a man, but this will be a test of their resolve to see if they can shift the momentum during the second half.
Argentina extended their lead to 26-0 after a long offload by Matin Elias to Santiago Carreras for a try in the right corner. This gave the team a bonus point for their 4th try.
Frustration was evident with both teams taking issue with contact. Following a TMO, John Quill and Lucas Mensa were both issued yellow cards with 30 minutes left in the match.
Argentina added another try from a Dominguez break and a pop pass to Ezcurra for a try. Elias then converted for a 33-0 lead.
Argentina attacked from a quick lineout and Julian Dominguez finished with a try as they had numbers. Elias then slotted the conversion for a 40-0 lead.
A run by Marco Ciccolo and an offload to Lautaro Bavaro resulted in another try for a 45-0 lead. Teo Castiglioni then sliced the kick to the left of the posts.
With two minutes remaining, Bruce Campbell tries to offload inside to Will Magie and it was intentionally knocked on by Ureta resulting in a yellow card and a penalty try, cutting the lead to 45-7. The USA attacked from the restart and moved the ball left with Campbell offloading to Brache to Dylan Fawsitt for a try. Will Magie then slotted the conversion to cut the score to 45-14.
That’s the way the match would end with Argentina moving to the top of the ARC table with 10 points, while the USA move to 3rd-place with 5 points. It was the first time in four matches that Argentina came away with the win.
It was not a good day for the USA Rugby Men’s National Team. The Eagles committed several penalties in the scrums and had a couple throws not straight. The team also had handling errors at key times.
Argentina scored two quick tries and the USA never recovered after the Red Card to Paul Lasike. Credit the USA for adding two tries in the last two minutes of the match. Credit Argentina for taking advantage of the USA being down a man and playing expansive rugby which led to tries.
Squads & Preview
Argentina XV: 1 Nicolás Solveyra 2 Gaspar Baldunciel 3 Lucas Favre 4 Jerónimo Ureta 5 Franco Molina 6 Francisco Gorrissen 7 Lautaro Bavaro (capt.) 8 Nicolás Sbrocco 9 Felipe Ezcurra 10 Martín Elías 11 Julián Domínguez 12 Lucas Mensa 13 Agustín Segura 14 Matías Osadczuk 15 Santiago Carreras 16 Axel Zapata 17 Santiago Garcia Botta 18 Marco Ciccioli 19 Santiago Portillo 20 Benito Ortíz de Rosas 21 Gregorio del Prete 22 Teo Castiglioni 23 Facundo Cordero
USA: 1 Titi Lamositele, 2 Joe Taufete’e, 3 Dino Waldren, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Nick Civetta, 6 John Quill, 7 Hanco Germishuys, 8 Cam Dolan, 9 Shaun Davies, 10 AJ MacGinty, 11 Marcel Brache (capt.), 12 Paul Lasike, 13 Bryce Campbell, 14 Gannon Moore, 15 Will Magie 16 Dylan Fawsitt 17 Chance Wenglewski, 18 Paul Mullen, 19 Nate Brakeley, 20 David Tameilau, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Tadhg Leader, 23 Dylan Audsley
USA Men’s Eagles Staff
Head Coach Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Backs & Attack Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Forwards Shawn Pittman
Strength & Conditioning Coach Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst Jimmy Harrison
Team Doctor Mark Sakr (Chile, Argentina Uruguay, Canada)
Head Athletic Trainer Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer Kristen Douhan
Team Manager Chris Hanson
Schedule & Results
- vs Chile 71-8 (W)
- vs Argentina XV – L 45-14
- BYE WEEK
- Saturday, Feb 23 vs Brazil – 7:10 PM CT Dell Diamond, Austin, TX
- Saturday, Mar 2 vs Uruguay – 7:10 PM PT Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA
- Friday, Mar 8 vs Canada – 7:10 PM PT Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA