The inaugural Americas Rugby Championship came to a close at the unofficial spiritual home of Brazilian rugby, São José dos Campos this evening. The Argentina XV wrapped-up the title by defeating Brazil 42-7.
10 minutes in Juan Pablo Estellés opened the scoring. His try came from an opportunistic box-kick from scrum half Marcos Bollini. With the Argentina XV having advantage his kick was not gathered by Brazil who, mistakingly, allowed it to bounce. Estellés gladly accepted the gift five pointer.
Promising Buenos Aires fly half Juan Cruz González crossed minutes later, giving the Argentina XV a 14-0 lead after 11 minutes. The visitors advantage was based on the pace in which the visitors played their rugby.
Brazil, though came to play. When in possession the home side used the backs, a notable change to that of the past when pick-an-go through the tight forwards combined with damage protection in defense was the strategy.
Brazil looked like opening their account in the 23rd minute as Cléber Dias charged down a Mercerat kick. With none to beat Dias knocked-on as he gathered the pass over the Argentine defensive try line.
The Argentina XV won a penalty from the resulting scrum which saw the ball cleared long and Santiago Portillo scoring beside the posts. Mercerat made it three from three from the kicking tee to make it 21-0.
There was time for a fourth try before the interval with Estellés scoring for the second time. Mercerat retained his perfect goal kicking, landing a sideline conversion.
Brazil played a strong third quarter, challenging the Argentina XV’s defense repeatedly. While no points came from it the home side did prevent the Argentina XV from scoring at all during this period.
The first points of the second half came from replacement winger Bautista Delguy. The Pumita chased a well directed kick from Cruz González, touching down near the posts. Estellés crossed shortly thereafter, breaking two tackles to complete his hat-trick.
The final score, though went to the hosts. Starting scrum half, Lucas Duque, was on hand to regather a fumble from Portillo which he happily touched down. His brother, Moisés, added the conversion.
Try: Lucas Duque
Conversion: Moisés Duque
Try: Estellés (3), Cruz González, Portillo, Delguy,
Conversion: Mercerat (6)
1 Rafael Carnivalle 2 Yan Rosetti 3 Wilton Rebolo 4 Lucas Piero 5 Luiz Vieira 6 André Arruda 7 Cléber Dias 8 Nick Smith (capt.) 9 Lucas Duque 10 Moisés Duque 11 Laurent Bourda-Couhet 12 Matheus Cruz 13 Felipe Sancery 14 Lucas Tranquez 15 Daniel Sancery
16 Daniel Danielewicz 17 Caique Silva 18 Lucas Abud 19 Diego López 20 Mark Jackson 21 Mateus Estrela 22 Beukes Cremer 23 Robert Tenório
1 Facundo Gigena 2 Santiago Iglesias Valdez (capt.) 3 Enrique Pieretto 4 Pedro Ortega 5 Ignacio Larrague 6 José Deheza 7 Lautaro Bavaro 8 Santiago Portillo 9 Marcos Bollini 10 Juan Cruz González 11 Pedro Mercerat 12 Tomás Granella 13 Juan Cappiello 14 Juan Pablo Estellés 15 Ramiro Moyano
16 Axel Zapata 17 Franco Brarda 18 Eduardo Bello 19 Franco Molina 20 Miguel Urtubey 21 Patricio Baronio 22 Martín Elías 23 Bautista Delguy