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The U20 Trophy Tournament kicked of this past week in Bucharest, Romania, with eight teams vying to win this second tier youth championship. The winner advances next year to the U20 Championship, comprised of the world's top 12 sides.
The highest ranked team is Samoa, which was relegated last year. Interestingly, Samoa have never lost a match in their two past U20 Trophy rounds, played in 2011 and 2016.
Samoa won their first round game 41-20 against Hong Kong. Other match results:
Namibia 55 - Romania 26
Portugal 31 - Canada 29
Fiji 55 - Uruguay 34
The constant high scoring surprised many, especially Fiji's nine tries against Los Teros, a game that generated 89 points total.
Canada's first match defeat against a Portugal XV may indicate that their U20 side could be vulnerable next year when Canada and the USA play for the two-game, home and away North American slot in the 2019 U20 Trophy qualifier.
This 2018 year has witnessed a significant improvement by young Eagle candidates. Judgmentally, the past few years have expanded the number of quality Men's college players, creating a wider and deeper pool of possible selections.
The USA must beat Canada to advance into the U-20 Trophy tournament. It has become a realistic goal for the Eagles next year.
The U20 Trophy continues this Saturday with a four-game schedule.