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With a dominant first half and yellow cards dooming Brazil’s improved play in the second half, USA scored seven tries to defeat the Os Tupis, 43-16, at the Estádio Pereira in São José dos Campos, Brazil. Head coach Gary Gold put an emphasis on a solid first half performance and the Eagles stepped up with a four try effort. Brazil came out in the second with determination and physicality but its aggressiveness caused multiple yellow cards. The USA capitalized on its two-man advantage late scoring two late tries and with it, the victory.
The USA kicked off to Brazil but after the Os Tupis failed to secure the ball, Ben Landry recovered the pill inside the 22. After stretching the field and passing out of trouble, a Will Magie grubber went into Brazil’s hands and it kicked out of danger.
The Brazil defense was stout early following a turnover by Matheus Daniel. Unfortunately, the ball was given back to the USA after a knock-on giving the match its first scrum. A break by Josh Whippy to Shaun Davies moved the ball into the 22 where the Eagles set up shop. Davies’ quick pass to Magie found Mike Te’o on the wing who slipped by the defender for USA’s first try. Magie’s subsequent conversion was wide right but the Eagles were up 5-0.
On the ensuing kickoff, USA box-kicked it back to Brazil to give the Os Tupis its first possession. Brazil swung the ball from sideline to sideline, but a not rolling away penalty gave Josh Reeves a shot at goal. The flyhalf’s kick was true and after eight minutes of play, USA led 5-3.
USA’s kickoff to the sideline was saved by Nate Augspurger and it proved fruitful as the Eagles stole the subsequent lineout. After a Brazil penalty, a lineout set up the Eagles’ offense inside the ten. The USA mauled it to the five and then the forwards took over. Following Cam Dolan’s attempt at the line, Huluholo Mo’ungaloa barreled through for the try. Magie’s conversion made it 12-3 after 12 minutes of play.
A series of back and forth play ensued with strategic kicking and penalties on both sides. After a Brazil steal and kick back, Hanco Germishuys’ powerful run got the USA inside the 22. After two penalties, a maul turned into a goal-line attack by the forwards. Following four stabs by the pack, Davies pitched the ball to the backs where Bryce Campbell crawled to the team’s third try. Magie was true with the boot to increase the lead to 19-3.
Following a penalty miss by Brazil, the Eagles’ set piece defense came up big. A lineout steal allowed the USA to advance the ball into scoring position. The USA stuck with what was working as a Dylan Fawsitt throw, Nick Civetta catch, and Germishuys drive in a maul saw the flanker score his first try. After a TMO review, the try was upheld extending the advantage to 26-3.
After the Brazil kickoff, possession was bounced around until an Os Tupis knock set up a scrum. Magie kicked into space, which Brazil counterattacked beautifully. Wing Stefano Giantorno sprinted around the corner and offloaded to a streaking Moisés Duque for the try. Reeves connected on the conversion to cut the lead to 26-10 at the break.
Energized by its play at the end of the half, Brazil emerged from halftime with more physicality and sense of urgency. The Os Tupis scrum gave the Eagles fits disrupting their first three opportunities.
The physical play caught up to Brazil about 13 minutes into the second half when a high tackle on Nate Augspurger caused a fracas on the sideline. After the referee sorted it out, Giantorno was sent to the sin bin with a yellow.
The USA looked to take an immediate advantage with a Germishuys try, but the scoring play was called back. Reserves like Paul Lasike and Tony Lamborn made an instant impact picking up the play of the Eagles.
However, Brazil continued to attack and an aggressive high tackle by Civetta sent the lock off and Reeves added a penalty to inch closer at 26-13. Now 14 on 14, the Os Tupis used turnovers and penalties to their benefit as Reeves slotted another PK to bring the lead to ten points with less than 20 minutes to play.
Following the USA kickoff, Brazil kicked the ball back and Lasike broke the line but a knock-on stopped the play. After an official review, Brazilian reserve Diego López was yellow carded for kicking Lamborn in the face. The Eagles used the opportunity to get close and give their maul another chance for points.
The ensuing lineout maul saw the forwards pound the line. After three attempts, Lamborn picked up the ball on the side of the ruck and powered through two defenders for an emphatic score. Taking over for Magie, Ben Cima converted the kick to put the USA back up by 17 points at 31-16. Additionally, during the play, prop Jardel Vettorato was carded.
With ten minutes left and the Eagles playing with a two-man advantage, USA didn’t let up. An errant Brazilian pass saw Te’o chase and kick the ball twice downfield before the Os Tupis booted the ball out the back of the endzone.
With confidence, USA won the five-meter scrum and went to the weak side. An off-target pass to Te’o was tipped to Whippy who juggled the ball to Lasike for the diving try in the corner. The Eagles weren’t finished as they scored off the next kickoff. Campbell passed to a cutting Whippy who offloaded to Germishuys for his second try.
The Eagles had the chance to score an eighth try at the end but Psalm Wooching was unable to maintain control. The game reached full time when a Brazilian pass didn’t find its mark and went into touch.
The USA will conclude its ARC schedule on March 3rd at Uruguay.