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At the Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo outside of Santiago, Chile hosted USA in Round Four of the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship. The Eagles secured the result they needed—a bonus point win that keeps them on target for the chance to win the ARC. The final score was 57-9.
In contrast to the sharp start last weekend against Canada, USA opened the match in a relatively sloppy, if ambitious, manner.
Things looked like they might go USA’s way early as Chile dropped the opening kick. However, USA could not immediately capitalize, even with the benefit of an early penalty and lineout opportunity. With almost all of the territory and possession in the first five minutes, eventually USA did win a penalty in a central position which Ben Cima kicked over to make it 3-0.
The Eagles, as they have in the first three rounds of the ARC, looked to use the entire width of the field. However, early on, Chile was not fooled by any USA patterns.
When Chile won an attacking scrum in a good position, they were able to get over the gainline on the first phase. That gainline success turned into an offside penalty against USA. Francisco González Moller kicked the penalty through to make it 3-3 in minute 18.
In the second quarter of play, the Eagles continued to put the pressure on Chile’s defense. Sergio Bascunan was yellow-carded for a high tackle, and USA scored its first try soon after. A chaotic passage of play ended with a Cam Dolan try. Tony Lamborn made up for an earlier pass that went astray with a nice pass to put Dolan in the clear. After the Ben Cima conversion, it was 10-3.
The next points went to Chile. Chile turned the ball over, and in the ensuing attack, USA was penalized for a high tackle. Moller kicked his second penalty of the match to reduce the USA lead to 10-6.
Before the half, though, the Eagles scored another try. A good chase from the restart by Nate Augspurger put USA in a good position. This time, the build-up was more methodical, with the forwards carrying several times in a row. Lamborn had the final carry and the try.
At the half, 17-6 with USA in the lead.
Chile had their best passage of play early in the second half. The strong play put USA under pressure and led to a yellow card for Bryce Campbell who played the ball from an offside position near his own try line. Shortly after, Moller kicked another penalty. With the score 17-9 it looked like Chile might have enough for an upset.
The last half hour of the match was all USA, though. The third Moller penalty was followed by a burst of two tries for USA, both involving David Tameilau
A good break by Mike Te’o put USA on the front foot, and Tameilau, on for Siaosi Mahoni, seized the ball and a try. The second try came from a charged-down drop goal attempt. Tameilau charged down the kick, chased after it, scooped it up cleanly, and then passed to Matt Jensen who scored. Just like that, it was 29-9 and all thoughts of an upset were gone.
The Eagles were far from clinical, but were now in control of the match. A long passage of play inside Chile’s 22 resulted in no points for USA. Just when it looked like Chile was going to have a chance to work back into the USA half, a stolen lineout led to a Todd Clever try set up by a good pass from Will Magie.
36-9 after 68 minutes.
Soon after, Chile were deep in their own territory after another good run from Tameilau. Lamborn intercepted a pass from a Chilean lineout and sprinted into the try zone untouched.
A clean line break by Olive Kilifi set up a try for Peter Malcolm, who received the ball 40 meters out and still had the pace to score. After Chile failed to capitalize on one last trip inside the USA 22, Malcolm score again. This time, from even further out after receiving a nifty no-look pass from Augspurger.
Cima’s final conversion brought the tally to 57-9.
The Eagles face the Argentina XV in the last round of the 2017 ARC. The winner of the match is likely to be the winner of the tournament.
USA: 1. Ben Tarr 2. James Hilterbrand 3. Chris Baumann 4. Matthew Jensen 5. Siaosi Mahoni 6. Todd Clever 7. Tony Lamborn 8. Cameron Dolan 9. Shaun Davies 10. Ben Cima 11. Nate Augspurger (C) 12. JP Eloff 13. Bryce Campbell 14. Aaron Davis 15. Mike Te'o
Reserves 16. Peter Malcolm 17. Anthony Purpura 18. Olive Kilifi 19. Hanco Germishuys 20. David Tameilau 21. Will Magie 22. Calvin Whiting 23. Andrew Turner
Chile: 1. Vittorio Lastra 2. Manuel Gurruchaga 3. José Tomás Munita 4. Mario Mayol 5. Nikola Bursic 6. Arturo Seeman 7. Anton Petrowitsch 8. Manuel Dagnino 9. Sergio Bascuñan 10. Francisco González Moller 11. Tomás Ianiszewski 12. Simón Pardakhty 13. Franco Velarde 14. Matías Contreras 15. Pablo Verschae
Reserves: 16. Rodrigo Moya 17. Sebastián Valech 18. Ernesto Ugarte 19. Nelson Calderón 20. Eduardo Orpis 21. Beltrán Vergara 22. Jorge Castillo 23. Mauricio Urrutia