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The USA will face off against Japan in the final of the Junior World Rugby Trophy after both teams notched victories against Eastern European opponents.
Japan ran out to an early 29-5 lead and held on 36-29 against Georgia in a battle of undefeated teams from Pool B. Japan finishes pool play 3-0.
The USA struggled early against Russia, as their quick-ball game was stymied by the 0-2 Bears.
An early penalty from Madison Hughes put the USA up, and then a try from Nick Boyer, converted by Hughes, put the USA ahead 10-0. But Russia surged back with a try and it was 10-5 at 20 minutes, with the USA not quite able to convert their territorial advantage. Too many knock-ons in the Russian 22 kept the score close, but when Mike Te'o picked up a loose ball to cap off a promising USA attack, they were off. Hughes converted to make it 17-5, and then a nifty try from outside center Tanner Barnes - who had an excellent game - put the Junior All Americans in a comfortable 24-5 lead.
Te'o capped off a superb movement in the second half, the hooker slotting in among the backs to take his second try. Then, after a Russian penalty goal, Nick Barrett bulled over to make it 36-8.
Russia used their forwards to score late, but the USA were comfortable
winners once again, and play for an invitation to the Tier 1 Junior World
Cup Saturday at Murray City Park in Salt Lake City, kickoff 6pm Mountain
USA Rugby Junior All-Americans 36
Tries: Boyer, Te’o (2), Barnes, Barrett
Convs: Hughes (4)
Tries: Romanov, Chechura