Uruguay claimed a major scalp with a 29-25 victory over the US Eagles at the Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo on Saturday in the final round of the Americas Rugby Championship. The result had no influence on the final standings with the USA just holding 2nd spot by a nose by virtue of their victory over Canada three weeks ago. Los Teros finish in 4th but will take great credit from their winning record with three wins from five.
A lack of discipline proved to be the undoing of the Eagles, with a plethora of penalties and scrumhalf Agustín Ormaechea on song with seven successful kicks at goal. Two yellow cards to Ben Landry – the second earning a red card – meant that the Eagles were forced to play with 14 men for nearly the entire final quarter, a handicap that proved too much to overcome despite a try on debut for teenage wing Deion Mikesell.
It was Ormaechea who started the scoring with an early penalty, but the Eagles who landed the first try. Somehow Todd Clever emerged with the ball from a broken scrum and the captain offloaded to Chad London, who in turn found Aladdin Schirmer in support on the inside for an uplifting score. James Bird made the easy conversion and the USA were in the lead.
Ormaechea and Bird exchanged penalties twice, with the Uruguayan’s kick coming just before the break to make the score 13-9. The lead was welcome but hardly convincing, with the damp conditions allowing Los Teros to get their well-drilled forwards into the match, particularly at the rolling maul.
A clean line break from replacement hooker Joseph Taufete’e got the second half off to a terrific start for the visitors, with the big front rower passing to London and the centre finishing himself to extend the lead. Uruguay responded immediately, however, with Germán Kessler eventually going over after pressure on the goal line.
Ormaechea’s fourth penalty goal preceded Landry’s first yellow, awarded by referee Juan Sylvestre after the big lock got too involved in an off-the-ball incident. Ormaechea took another three points with the man advantage, but then missed touch with Los Teros under pressure and Clever’s long pass found London in space, and this time it was Mikesell on the receiving end and the youngster rounded Rodrigo Silva with ease to score in the corner.
The lead was precarious and Landry received his marching orders in the 77th minute for a high tackle. With one less heavyweight up front the try was inevitable, and Diego Magno was rewarded for his industry with the winning score just a couple minutes time, with Ormaechea’s conversion leaving just seconds on the clock, not enough for the Eagles to mount a comeback.
Tries – G. Kessler (49), D. Magno (78)
Cons – A. Ormaechea 2 (50, 79)
Pens – A. Ormaechea 5 (3, 21, 39, 59, 67)
Tries – A. Schirmer (14), C. London (46), D. Mikesell (72)
Cons – J. Bird 2 (15, 47)
Pens – J. Bird 2 (22, 29)
Yellow cards – B. Landry (61)
Red cards – B. Landry (77)
1 Mateo Sanguinetti 2 Carlos Arboleya 3 Mario Sagario 4 Gonzalo Soto 5 Diego Magno 6 Juan Manuel Gaminara (capt.) 7 Juan Diego Ormaechea 8 Alejandro Nieto 9 Agustín Ormaechea 10 Manuel Blengio 11 Gastón Mieres 12 Andrés Vilaseca 13 Pedro Deal 14 Leandro Leivas 15 Rodrigo Silva
16 Germán Kessler 17 Facundo Gattas 18 Juan Echeverría 19 Mathias Palomeque 20 Matías Beer 21 Alberto Román 22 Guillermo Lijtenstein 23 Federico Favaro
1 Eric Fry 2 Mike Sosene-Feagai 3 Titi Lamositele 4 Brodie Orth 5 Ben Landry 6 Aladdin Schirmer 7 Todd Clever (capt.) 8 David Tameilau 9 Mike Te’o 10 James Bird 11 Tim Stanfill 12 Chad London 13 Lorenzo Thomas 14 Deion Mikesell 15 JP Eloff
16 Joseph Taufete’e 17 Olive Kilifi 18 Demecus Beach 19 Nate Brakeley 20 Hanco Germishuys 21 Niku Kruger 22 Ryan Matyas 23 Jake Anderson
Referee: Juan Sylvestre (UAR)
Assistants: Alejandro Longres (URU) & Francisco González (URU)