by Robert Murray – Rugby Canada Contributor
October 19, 2013, LANGFORD, BC (ISN) – All four nations at the Americas Rugby Championship enter day three of the tournament looking to end on a high note.
Day two of competition at the Americas Rugby Championship yielded the greatest surprise of the tournament as the American Selects XV knocked off Canada A by a score of 30-10.
In the first game of the night, Argentina battled their border rival Uruguay and came out with a 34-0 victory. Although the game on the scoreboard came across as lopsided, the game itself was very competitive.
Game 1: Uruguay vs. USA – 6pm ET/3pm PT
Game one on Saturday between Uruguay and the United States has all the makings for a fierce battle between the two squads.
In their first two games the American and Uruguayan offence relied heavily on their kicking game in order to succeed.
Throughout the tournament, 24 of the United States’ 39 points have come from the feet of their players. On Uruguay’s side, the squad received five of their 10 points from the foot of Joaquin Prada.
Both teams will also be using the game as a precursor to next April’s World Cup Qualifier between the two nations. The winner of the two game home and away series will advance directly to the 2015 Rugby World Cup as Americas 2 while the loser will go into a repechage against other countries for the final playoff spot.
Both sides have shown that they are more than capable of competing with the best. In the United States’ loss to Argentina last Friday, the American side held firm in the second half, only conceding one converted try the whole forty minutes.
Although Uruguay was blanked 34-0 by Argentina, the other South American squad in the tournament held their own and came agonizingly close to scoring on many occasions.
Depending on the result of the Canada and Argentina game, the game will also serve as a battle for second place in the tournament. With the United States sitting at 1-1 and Uruguay sporting a 0-2 record, a Uruguay win could create a three-way tie for second place.
Game 2 Canada vs. Argentina – 8pm ET/5pm PT
Canada has never beaten Argentina at the Americas Rugby Championship since the tournament’s inception and they will be looking to change that trend on Saturday.
Canada suffered a setback in their second game as the United States Selects XV took them down by a score of 30-10.
Rookies in the backfield like Adam McQueen and Jack Fitzpatrick have emerged as strong players for Canada throughout the tournament while Canada’s veteran presence will be led by familiar faces such as Ray Barkwill, Conor Trainor, Mike Scholz and Adam Kleeberger.
Argentina has proven that they are the strongest team in the tournament. From a 27-9 drubbing of the United States on day one to an even more convincing 34-0 win over Uruguay on Day 2, Argentina’s offence is firing on all cylinders.
The South American side will be looking to put the finishing touches on their fourth straight Americas Rugby Championship.
Canada enters the game with a 1-1 record and four points while Argentina enters the game at 2-0 with ten points after having earned bonus points in each of their first two matches.
What Canada captain Adam Kleeberger said:
“First things first we need to make sure we are manning up and matching the other team physically. Argentina doesn’t take a step back offensively or defensively. It’s important for us to match them there,”
“When everybody came off the field Tuesday night they were embarrassed with the performance. We are lucky that we get another game in just four days and hopefully get some redemption for how we last performed,” said Kleeberger.
What Canada coach Kieran Crowley said:
“We have got to be better with our skills; we had too many turnovers. The last game against the U.S we had more possession than them, we had more territory than them and we spent 12 or 14 percent of the time inside their 22 but the turnovers were just too many, hopefully we can improve in that area.”
“It’s going to be a challenge, Argentina haven’t been beaten in ARC yet. You have players who have played Championship Rugby, so it’s going to be a massive challenge for us, but a win isn’t everything, we want to put a good performance forward,” said Crowley from Langford, BC.
Canada’s Roster to Face Argentina:
- 1- Doug Wooldridge, (Lindsay RFC/Ontario Blues) Lindsay, ON
- 2- Ray Barkwill, (Niagara Wasps RFC/Ontario Blues) Niagara Falls, ON
- 3- Jake Illnicki, (Williams Lake Rustlers/Auckland Colts) Williams Lake, BC
- 4- Callum Morrison, (UBCOC Ravens/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
- 5- Aaron Flagg, (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
- 6- Kyle Gilmour, (St. Albert Rugby Club/Prairie Wolf Pack) Edmonton, AB
- 7- Adam Kleeberger, (Castaway Wanderers/BC Bears) White Rock, BC
- 8- Zac Coughlan, (Swilers RFC/The Rock) St. John’s, NL
- 9- Jamie Mackenzie, (UVIC Vikes/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- 10- Pat Parfrey, (Swilers RFC/The Rock) St. John’s, NL
- 11- Jordan Wilson-Ross, (James Bay AA/Ontario Blues) Alliston, ON
- 12- Mike Scholz, (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) London, ON
- 13- Conor Trainor, (UBCOB Ravens/BC Bears) Vancouver, BC
- 14- Joe Dolesau, (Burnaby Lake RC/BC Bears) Burnaby, BC
- 15- Jack Fitzpatrick, (Dublin University Football Club) Dublin, Ireland
- 16- Micha Gorvorchin, (Burnaby Lake RC/BC Bears) New Westminster, BC
- 17- Djustice Sears-Duru, (Castaway Wanderers/Ontario Blues) Oakville, ON
- 18- Ryan March, (Abbotsford RFC/BC Bears) Abbotsford, BC
- 19- Henry (Hank) McQueen, (Balmy Beach/Ontario Blues) West Vancouver, BC
- 20- Matt Heaton, (SABRFC/The Rock) Godmanchester, QC
- 21- Sean White, (James Bay AA/BC Bears) Victoria, BC
- 22- Guiseppe Du Toit, (Uvic Vikes) Maple Ridge, BC
- 23- Adam McQueen, (Calgary Hornets/Prairie Wolf Pack) Canmore, AB
- Head Coach: Kieran Crowley
- Assistant Coach: Chris Silverthorn
- Scrum Coach: Mike Shelley
- Manager: Mark Winokur
- Performance Analyst: Calum Ramsay
- Strength and Conditioning Coach: Andy Evans
- Physiotherapist: Danielle Mah
- Athletic Therapist: Jessica Smith
- Media Coordinator: Bryan Kelly