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Canada v. USA Head-to-Head. Can this predict the game? RUGBYMag.com looks at each position, plus a few other aspects of the game, and tries to get a handle on who will win this always hotly-contested match.

Take away the dark years of 2006-2008, when Canada were clearly better, this game is usually very close.

Scores from 2003-2005 and 2009-2012 are as follows:
USA 16 Canada 11
USA 35 Canada 20
USA 20 Canada 23
USA 29 Canada 32
USA 26 Canada 30
USA 20 Canada 19
USA 12 Canada 6
USA 18 Canada 41
USA 22 Canada 28
USA 7 Canada 27
USA 25 Canada 28


USA Notes
Canada
1 Shawn Pittman

Buydens and Marshall are big, strong former football players, and Barkwill is a terrific defender and good in the set piece. Pittman and Fry are improving in tight and very good in the open field, and Fenoglio will be under pressure to perform in set piece. Edge: USA

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1 Hubert Buydens
2 Zach Fenoglio 2 Ray Barkwill
3 Eric Fry 3 Jason Marshall
4 Brian Doyle

Beukeboom and Hotson are both powerful, physical second rows. They are not unlike Stanfill in the way they play. The game-changer might well be Doyle, who is the tallest of the locks and could mess up the lineouts. Edge: USA


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4 Brett Beukeboom
5 Louis Stanfill 5 Tyler Hotson
6 John Quill

Quill got kudos from Clever for his ornery play. Dahl knows how to battle, and proved it against Romania last November. Clever is a true international superstar. However, if Tyler Ardron isn't a superstar now, he will be soon. He is huge, and can run and pass like a back. Moonlight is a classic mobile flanker, and Carpenter, despite his short stature, seems to always punish the USA. Even


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6 Tyler Ardron
7 Peter Dahl 7 John Moonlight
8 Todd Clever 8 Aaron Carpenter
9 Robbie Shaw

Sean White and Harry Jones are fit, smart, and skilled. Shaw and L'Estrange are a combination Canada has not seen, and that could help them. Edge: USA


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9 Sean White
10 Toby L'Estrange 10 Harry Jones
11 James Paterson

These are two very different units. Paris and Hearn run over people, and do it really well. They are strong passers, as well. Paterson likes to get around players, and Hume is a sidestepping freak. It's a study in contrasts. We'll go with the battlers. Edge: Canada


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11 Taylor Paris
14 Luke Hume 14 Ciaran Hearn
12 Andrew Suniula

This will be a massive battle between two midfields that need to get their teams go-forward. Questions remains whether Suniula and Hall can shore up the defense sufficiently. In 2012 Canada foiled the USA by attacking the channel between 10 and 12. Will L'Estrange and Suniula be able to defend that channel this time? Edge: Canada


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12

Patrick Parfrey
13 Troy Hall 13 Nick Blevins
15 Adam Sidall

Both guys are more often flyhalves. Siddall is going to be the USA goalkicker, which is partly why he's there. Braid is there because he has good hands and is an aggressive attacker. Siddall, in his first cap, may or may not be as aggressive. Edge: Canada


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15 Connor Braid





Bench

Bench
16 Tom Coolican

Strangely, while we seem to rate the Canadian backs over the USA backs, the USA backs bench is stronger than the Canada backs bench. Nanyak Dala is the quintessential impact sub for Canada. Both teams have some young guys on the bench, but the USA has a bit more experience. Edge: USA


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16 Ryan Hamilton
17 Phil Thiel 17 Andrew Tiedemann
18 Nick Wallace 18 Doug Wooldridge
19 Graham Harriman 19 Jon Phelan
20 Liam Murphy 20 Cam Pierce
21 Chris Saint 21 Nanyak Dala
22 Seamus Kelly 22 Phil Mack
23 Blaine Scully 23 Liam Underwood
















Scrum

The USA scrum is getting better, but to say they win this aspect of the game yet is premature. Edge: Canada


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Lineout

The only question on the Eagles lineout is whether Fenoglio can throw as well as Chris Biller has been throwing. Edge: USA


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Goalkicking

Neither team has their #1 guy on the squad. Even


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Team Defense

You have to go with history here. Canada has won too many games against the USA on defensive breakdowns. Edge: Canada


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Team Offense

The USA is probably the more exciting offensive team. Of course, they have to execute:. Edge: USA


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Intangibles

Canada playing at home. Edge: Canada


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If you use this scouting report to predict the score, you will come up with a tie.

USA
Even
Canada
6
2
6


And it may well be that close. It certainly will come down to one error, or one deficiency. Last year, the difference was closing the defensive gap in the interior backline, and the failure to cover the wing on one clearance kick. That was enough to give Canada a 28-25 victory. What will it be this year?