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The United States opened Wellington with a 19-14 loss to Argentina. The Eagles started the game poorly with a long string of first-phase turnovers and penalties, allowing the Argentinians to claim a 19-0 lead.
The opening try came when Gaston Revol chipped through the American defense from inside the attacking 22 and dove on the ball for the score. Revol converted, making it 7-0.
Argentina regained possession off the kickoff, as the kicker switched directions last minute to catch the Eagles off guard. Zack Test managed to tip the restart, but Argentina recovered the loose ball. Again with the help of some USA penalties German Schultz went in for a try. Revol added the conversion to extend the lead to 14-0.
The USA then knocked on its second possession of the game in pretty short order, with Andrew Durutalo spilling the ball. In a subsequent ruck on the opposite side of the field, Carlin Isles jumped offside and left the weakside open for Argentina to score again. This time Diego Palma dotted down and Revol missed the conversion – 19-0 to Argentina at halftime.
The turnover and possession woes continued well into the second half until a rare Argentine penalty resulted in a Shalom Suniula quick tap and a Carlin Isles try. Suniula made a short pass to Isles, who evaded one tackler and was gone.
The Eagles’ second try came after a won scrum and another quick-tap penalty play from Suniula. This time he swung the ball wide toward Brett Thompson, who stiff-armed a defender and went the distance.
Suniula made the difficult conversion to draw the score to 19-14, but he made a crucial error by not getting the restart 10 meters. Argentina gathered the ball as the final hooter sounded, toed through the free kick and cleared to touch to end the game.
The loss was the USA's second one-possession defeat to Argentina in as many
tournaments. Up next for the Eagles is Canada at 9:48pm ET. Canada got past
Scotland 17-14 earlier in the day.
Tries: Revol, Schultz, Palma
Cons: Revol 2
Tries: Isles, Thompson