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In their second match of the 2017 Americas Pacific Challenge, the USA Selects defeated Uruguay A, 49-36. The match featured plenty of attacking ambition from the Selects who scored seven tries to Uruguay's five.
The first real possession of the match went to the Selects, but an early handling error led to a scrum to Uruguay. Uruguay won a penalty from that first scrum. Following the touch-finder, the Uruguay lineout was stolen, and Uruguay were penalized at the breakdown. A lineout for USA inside 30 meters put the Selects inside the Uruguay 22 for the first time and resulted in another penalty for the Americans. JP Eloff’s penalty kick was good and gave the USA a 3-0 lead after five minutes.
Ben Landry and Psalm Wooching were both prominent early.
Uruguay had the next attacking chance. A reclaimed up-and-under and then a penalty put them just inside the USA 22. Another penalty a few minutes later gave them a chance for more time inside the 22. This time, Uruguay won the lineout, but the Selects tied the ball up in the maul and won the scrum.
The Selects, from a sloppy scrum, looked to run first and that ambition was rewarded with an offside penalty. That helped shift play into the Uruguay half where it stayed for several minutes. The first try of the match came from a Mike McCarthy cross-field kick to an un-marked Wooching. Eloff was unable to convert. 8-0 with USA Selects in the lead.
USA fielded another deep restart and ran from deep again. Several phases later, they were back inside the Uruguay 22. However, the movement ended with a penalty against the Selects for not releasing.Good defense from the Americans led to an attacking scrum. From the scrum, Josh Whippy took a pass from Alladin Schirmer and moved the ball to within five meters with a slicing run before the ball was recycled twice and Tim Maupin scored the try out wide.
With a quarter of the match played, the Selects led 13-0.
The strong American attack continued after the restart. The Selects were ambitious and aggressive in attack. With possession inside the Uruguay half, Schirmer scored a beautiful try. He made a clean line break, dummied, and then fended the final defender before crossing for the try.
Eloff’s conversion was good to make it 20-0.
A few moments later, Uruguay made the Selects work to get play out of their end. Uruguay turned the ball over and won a penalty, which was taken quickly. With the Americans still scrambling, Diego Magno scored a relatively simple try. Joaquin Prada converted. After 30 minutes, the Selects led 20-7.
Good defensive pressure after the restart meant that the USA had a lineout 25 meters out. However, the throw was knocked on, and Uruguay won another penalty from the scrum. More penalties allowed Uruguay to quickly march up the field. From the good field position, Uruguay scored again, though from a somewhat chaotic passage. Gaston Mieres was in the right place at the right time and claimed the try and made the score 20-12 where it stayed into halftime.
A silly offside penalty against USA from the kick to start the second half gave Uruguay an early chance. A bruising attack did not quite break the American defense, and the Selects had a chance to clear after a scrum. However, pressure at the base of the scrum meant that the clearing kick did not get play out of the 22. A Uruguayan knock-on in the lineout gave them another chance for relief. The clearing process was better, but Uruguay won another attacking lineout in a good position. This was one chance too many. A good run by Prada set up the try for Nicolas Freitas. Uruguay was within one point, 20-19, seven minutes in to the second half.
A Uruguayan mistake gave the Selects a lineout about 25 meters out. Some strong phases put the ball close, and Whippy picked the ball from the base of a ruck and bulled over. Eloff converted to make it 27-19.
Another USA mistake from the restart handed Uruguay another chance for three points. Prada’s kick was good—27-22.
Shortly thereafter, USA had two five-meter lineouts but a knock on in tight following the second, followed by a penalty, ended the threat. Uruguay made things difficult and opted to take a quick tap. What followed was another chaotic passage that ended with a USA lineout inside the 22. That possession ended with another try. Schirmer scored his second after he took a good pass from Holden Yungert and stepped the defender.
Another conversion from Eloff move the score to 34-22.
The pressure and points kept coming for the Selects. Good runs from Landry, Hanco Germishuys, and Bryce Campbell set up Maupin for his second try. With less than 20 minutes to play, USA 39, Uruguay, 22.
The next few minutes saw several knock-ons and penalties against the Selects. Showing justified confidence, Uruguay opted to scrum from a penalty outside the 22. That confidence was rewarded with a try for Frederico Favaro. Favaro also converted to make it 39-29.
A few minutes later, a good run by Cambell after a clean lineout win led to a penalty in a kickable position. Ben Cima’s kick was good to make it 42-29.
With time against them, Uruguay kicked for the corner after winning a penalty. The tactic worked and produced another try for Freitas. This try came from a clever outside-of-the-boot chip by Gaston Gibernau. After the conversion, Uruguay was back in the match, 42-36.
However, it was the Selects with the final score. USA won a turnover inside the Uruguay 22 shortly after the restart. It was his fanciest try, but Zach Pangelinan burrowed over from in close. Cima’s conversion was good to make the final score 49-36.
The USA Selects are now 1-1 for the tournament and play Canada A on Sunday.
USA Selects: 1. Chance Wenglewski 2. Peter Malcolm (C) 3. Angus McClellan 4. Brendan Daly 5. Brendan Hardiman 6. Ben Landry 7. Psalm Wooching 8. Aladdin Schirmer 9. Holden Yungert 10. Mike McCarthy 11. Josh Whippy 12. Jean Pierre Eloff 13. Bryce Campbell 14. Tim Maupin 15. Mitch Wilson 16. Alex Vorster 17. Huluholo Moungaloa 18. Kelepi Fifita 19. Matt Jensen 20. Hanco Germishuys 21. Ruben De Haas 22. Ben Cima 23. Zach Pangelinan
Uruguay A: 1. Facundo Gattas 2. Carlos Pombo 3. Carlos Arboleya 4. Diego Magno 5. Mathias Palomeque 6. Marcos Chamyan 7. Leandro Segredo 8. Juan Diego Ormaechea 9. Guillermo Lijtenstein (C) 10. Lucas Duran 11. Nicolas Freitas 12. Rodrigo Bocking 13. Joaquin Prada 14. Gaston Mieres 15. Francisco Lopez 16. German Kessler 17. Matias Benitez18. Felipe Inciarte 19 Diego Ayala. 20. Gonzalez Soto Mera 21. Baltasur Brum 22. Frederico Favaro 23. Gaston Gibernau