Story and images by Erich Eichhorn (ISN)
Erich Eichhorn (ISN) – Canada has yet to solve the USA’s rugby play as they suffered their first loss of the 2014 America’s Rugby Championships 16-3 to the USA Wednesday night for the second consecutive time at Westhills Stadium.
Canada’s Nick Blevins chases down a USA team player during day two action Wednesday night – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
The USA would mark the board first, evidently looking to take advantage of any open door for points, putting the ball down for the first try of the game and the early lead. With the missed conversion the USA would take a 5-0 lead. Canada would try to answer back on the foot of Gordy McRorie who would fail to spit the uprights when his long distance penalty kick would hook wide left to keep Canada off the board. The USA would add three more points to their lead when, at the twenty minute mark, USA’s Adam Siddall would kick an approximately 325 meter kick, lifting the USA to a 8-0 lead halfway through the first half.
Shalom Suniula helped power the USA engine past the Canadian team 16-3 – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada’s Jordan Ross-Wilson can’t handle the pass while trying to break past USA’s #15 Troy Hall – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada would struggle for possession of the ball, not able to win their share of line-outs most of the first half, would find themselves facing the long end of the field most of the opening half. A strong Canadian scrum would knock the USA back, keeping the America side from adding to their lead. Canadian Flanker, Evan Olmstead, would have an especially strong game, sending notice to the USA with some bone jarring hits to help prevent the American advance.
Nick Blevins grabs hold of a USA ball carrier – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
With time running down in the first half, Canada would dodge a late score by USA’s Tim Maupin. Maupin would mishandle a loose ball on a clear breakaway, loosing ball through the back of the try zone to close out the half up 8-0.
It would take until about the twelfth minute mark of the second half before Canada’s McRorie would find the mark, putting up three penalty points for Canada to close the gap 8-3. Canada would loose Aaron Flagg and Patrick Parfrey a minute later to injury and would have to retire for the remainder of the game. In a ball handling error, Canada would give up the ball to USA ‘sTim Stanfield, who would run the ball down the sideline for his second try of the game to put his side up 13-3 at the sixty-three minute mark to all but put the game away.
Gordy McRorie would provide Canada’s only scoring through 80 minutes as USA would defeat Canada 16-3 -Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
To add to the home team’s woes, Canada’s Ryan Hamilton, perhaps a little too eager to the ball, would be yellow carded at about the sixty-eight minute mark, forcing Canada to play a man short most of the remainder of the game. The USA would add a late three points with less than ten minutes remaining, again off the foot of Adam Siddall to give the USA a final 16-3 victory over Canada ‘A’ team.
Pat Kay is grabbed by the neck from behind as he passes the ball out the wing – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
Canada will now play undefeated Argentina Sunday to close out the tournament. In earlier action, Argentina defeated Uruguay without much resistance by a score 31-9. Uruguay’s scrum half Duran Alejo would win “Man of the Match” honours for his play in the game. Uruguay will now play USA in the early game Sunday at Westhills Stadium.
Uruguay fell 31-9 to Argentina Wednesday night in ARC action – Erich Eichhorn image (www.allsportmedia.ca)
A thumb in the eye was good enough to stop this would be tackler – Erich Eichhorn (www.allsportmedia.ca)