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Madison Hughes in action for the USA Falcons. David Barpal photo.
Madison Hughes in action for the USA Falcons. David Barpal photo.

In the second game of their three-match tour, the Collegiate All-Americans defeated Cambridge University 22-12 Wednesday evening at Pine Bank Park in Malden, Mass.

After beating Cambridge in their first tour match on June 21, the All-Americans earned another win behind a Madison Hughes penalty and tries from Kingsley McGowan, Vili Toluta'u and Shaun Potgieter.

The All-Americans will wrap up their tour Saturday against the Ontario Blues, with a match venue still to be announced.

Hughes captained the team, and aside from sparse minutes as a replacement during schoolboy rugby in England, earned his first ever start as a scrum-half.

"I think it was a reasonable performance," Hughes said in a phone interview after the game. "I knew it wasn't going to be perfect going in and that some of it would be a challenge. I just gave it everything I could. I've been practicing it a bit the past few weeks."

All-American coach Matt Sherman praised Hughes for using his athleticism to create opportunities, including slipping a tackle to get in space and put McGowan away, but said that his pass off the ground is still a "work in progress."  The start was a chance for the Dartmouth rising senior to gain some experience for future consideration at the position.

"(Eagles coaches) Mike Tolkin and Billy Millard, we're in communication with them," Sherman said. "We're about trying to be successful as a team, but the greater goal of our program is to develop players for (the Eagles). Madison is obviously on their radar as a sevens international guy and as a fifteens player. They see him potentially being a nine. They wanted to give him some gametime there."

After being challenged by Cambridge's strength in set pieces, Sherman experimented with a brand new front row of Ryan Pratt (SMC), Tino Paophavihanh (Bellevue College) and Dino Waldren (SMC).

"Their only two scores in the first game came from a walk-in, driving scrum and a maul off of a lineout," lock Ben Landry said. "Basically, we wanted to cut down on penalties and stop their drive and hold the scrum. I think we did it really well today."

Harry Higgins (Arkansas State) and Lucas Baistrocchi (Florida) made their first start of the tour at blindside flanker and fullback, respectively.

The All-Americans are suffering from a number of injuries: Cooper Maloney (ankle) and Seb Sharpe (hamstring) were unavailable for tonight's test, while Sam Sirrell played the entire match with a stomach bug. Ben Landry (rotator cuff) left the match at halftime and Higgins suffered a concussion. Connor Cooke (ankle) and Johnny Linehan (PCL) have been lost for the tour.

Scoring breakdown

0-5 Paul Loudon (CU)

3-5 Madison Hughes penalty (CAA)

10-5 TRY Kingsley McGowan/Hughes conversion (CAA)

15-5 TRY Vili Toluta'u (CAA)

22-5 TRY Shaun Potgieter/Niku Kruger conversion (CAA)

22-12 TRY Loudon (CU)

Madison Hughes in action for the USA Falcons. David Barpal photo.

Match Details

06.25.14 Malden, Mass.
Final Score
Cambridge University
USA Collegiate All-Americans