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The United States Boys took on Japan in their first match of Day 2 at the Youth Olympics, ultimately falling by a score of 22-10. Japan took an early 7-0 lead, capitalizing on a scrum gained from an American knock on. Minutes later, the United States were pinged for not releasing, and Japan took advantage. The Japanese ran an illusive switch on the penalty tap and scored under the posts to take a 14-0 lead. The Americans’ hustle never let down. After the buzzer sounded and Team USA continued to make positive yardage down the field, the Japanese committed a penalty in the breakdown at the five-meter line. Hanco Germishuys quick-tapped and ran into the Japanese defense. Japan jarred the ball loose out of his hands, but luckily it fell into the arms of a supporting Sione Masoe, who touched down for the try. The USA went into halftime down 14-5.

The Americans brought immense pressure on Japan in the second half. After spending the first several minutes in the Japanese 22, Aaron Matthews slipped through for the try to bring the Americans within four points. Japan responded immediately after the following kickoff and raced sixty meters to bring the score to 19-10. The Japanese regained possession, and ran the clock down to the buzzer. USA then committed a penalty on defense and Japan hit a penalty kick to end the game with a score of 23-10.

There were several great performances individually throughout the game. Masoe has been a consistent contributor for Team USA throughout the games. In addition, scrumhalf Brian Hannon played exceptionally well during the match against Japan, displaying his speed and playmaking abilities.

The boys have been exposed to an extremely high level of play. Every team in their pool is truly an international quality team, all with superb athletes, excellent skills, and experienced coaching. The experience these boys are gaining throughout the Youth Olympics is priceless. “Coming into the tour to China I didn’t really know what to expect,” says USA winger Tyler Sousley. “I was a little bit worried at first, but so far this tour has been a lot of fun. Even though we have not won all of our games it has been a blast playing these guys. Hopefully we can improve and win our next game.” Team USA faces France at 6:30 AM Eastern Time.

In the other matches, France upset Fiji 17-12 and Argentina defeated Kenya 32-5. Team USA faces a must-win game this afternoon at 6am Eastern Time against France. 

 

Match Venue: Olympic Sports Park

Game Time: 11:30 AM

Match Score: Japan 23 – 10 USA

 

Starting Lineup:

#2: Sione Masoe

#6: Hanco Germishuys

#7: Tyler Sousley

#8: Vili Helu

#9: Junior Helu

#10: Brian Hannon

#11: Aaron Matthews

 

Substitutes:

#1: Jojo Tikoisuva

#3: Suwaiter Poch

#5: Malcolm May

 

Injured:

#4: Austin Taefu

#12: Cian Barry