By Rugby Canada, With Photos from Erich Eichhorn (ISN) and Devin Milner
October 16, 2012, Langford, BC – Team Canada earned the right to face two-time defending champion Argentina Tuesday night at Langford’s Westhill Stadium, defeating the US 23-3 while Argentina took the measure of Uruguay 21-10.
Canada opened up their tournament with a win over Uruguay, while Argentina downed the US. The US and Uruguay will meet in Saturday’s opening game at 5:30pm, while the championship game goes at 7:30pm and is almost assured to be a sell out crowd. The Canadian team was lead by kicker, Connor Braid with two penalties and one conversion. It was the fourth and fifth penalty goals of the tournament for Braid. Canadian tries scored by Jordan Wilson-Ross and Clayton Meeres. Canada’s other points came late in the first half on a penalty try. The US lone points came early in the first half, when a forty yard penalty goal by Zachary Pangelinan.
Captain Tyler Ardron looks to escape the grasp of Dean Gericke of the USA – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Canadian Coach Kieran Crawley was disappointed in his team’s first half play, saying “We simply turned the ball over to much, unforced errors and they hurt us.” About the championship game with Argentina he said “We’re excited to be in this position, we’ll take a look at things. It’s basically a one game winner take all and we hope its us.”
USA Scrum-Half Shaun Davies pulls the ball out of the scrum passing down out the line to his teammates – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Canada had the game won at halftime 13-3 due to penalty goals, by Braid and a seldom awarded penalty try when the referee ruled the US scrum purposely collapsed on the goal line, Braid kicked the ensuing conversion.
Team Canada’s Tyler Ardron shows why he is captain, dominating play for his team and running away from his competition – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
As the crowd of 2,273 looked on, Wilson-Ross took a pass from captain Tyler Ardron for Canada’s first try, 20 min into the second half. And then Wilson-Ross 3 minutes later passed to Clayton Meeres for their second try.
Canada’s Connor Braid runs the wing looking to get past Miles Craigwell of the USA – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Two yellow cards were handed out in the second half: Meeres got 10 minutes for rough tackling a man in the air, and the US’s John Quill got his yellow for pulling the hair of Wilson Ross and pulling him to the ground.
Canada’s Connor Braid scampers away from pursuing USA defenders (Photo: Devin Milner)
Penalty Try, Jordan Wilson-Ross, Clayton Meeres,
Connor Braid x2
Argentina – 21 Uruaguay – 10
A sunny 14 degree late-afternoon at the Westhills stadium was the setting for the match of two South American neighbours, Argentina and Uruguay.
Uruguay scored the first points of the match eleven minutes into the first half after Agustin Alonso spun off a rolling maul and Argentina was penalized on the play. Uruguayan fullback Jeronimo Etcheverry slotted the penalty goal for the Teros.
Uruguay’s Augustin Alonso breaks a Argentinean tackle on his way up field – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Shortly after, a line-out on the Uruguayan 22 was overthrown and subsequently stolen by Argentinian lock Mateo Sanguinetti. After pressuring the ball further into opposing territory, it was ultimately lost to a high grubber attempt which was caught and brought out for a Uruguayan 22 meter kick.
With twenty-five minutes remaining in the first frame, Argentina had their chance at the posts after a penalty was awarded to them. Fly-half Rodrigo Silva slotted a 35 meter kick from the centre of the pitch with great ease, tying the match and placing the Argentinians on the scoreboard, 3-3.
Valentine Cruz carries the ball through the Uruguayan front line – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
With the halfway mark nearing, the pumas scrummed down just inside their half and a quick flip from Diego Magno to Sebastian Sagario set the flanker away. He swiftly beat the defenders and ran half the pitch only to pass off to wing Federico Favaro to create some space between the Uruguayan fullback and the ball. The result was the first try of the match and the lead for Argentina, 8-3.
With half-time looming, the Argentines were not done yet. After two attacking Argentinian line-outs were fought off with great ferocity by the Uruguayan defenders, the offense eventually proved too much and a penalty was given to Uruguay. This allowed the sure footed Argentinian fly-half a kick for posts and the half ended with Argentina leading the Uruguayans 11-3.
Early in the second half saw Argentina deep inside the Uruguayan zone. The Argentines repeated attempts at kicking to touch on penalties offered no solution to the steadfast Uruguayan defense; so it returned to the trusted foot of fly-half Rodrigo Silva to gain points on the next penalty, 14-3 Argentina.
Scrum-Half Marcos Bollini of Argentina offers an elbow to the jaw of a Uruguayan would-be tackler – Erich Eichhorn image ( www.allsportmedia.ca )
Frustration with the oppositions defense seemed to be mounting among the Uruguayans as another penalty for holding the ball gave the Argentines a chance to breakthrough their back-line. The resulting 35m run by wing Pablo Bueno provided the Argentinian side another try and conversion, 21-3.
As the time dwindled down, a drive up the blindside flank by the Uruguayans resulted in an awarded penalty. After being kicked to touch five meters from the try-line, the line-out was won and driven deep into the Argentina’s end. The result was a hard earned first try by Oscar Duran, but it was too little too late for the Uruguayan squad as the conversion was missed and the final tally had Argentina 21 – Uruguay 10.