USA Selects Handle Uruguay
USA Selects Handle Uruguay
The USA scored four tries and dominated Uruguay A to finished the 2014 Americas Rugby Championship 2-1 for the second year in a row.
The USA Selects had many chances to score in the first half, and squandered most of them, but did get an early try from flanker Ben Pinkelman in the first half. In the second half they opened things up and scored three tries to win 30-5. Uruguay scored a try in the final minutes to ruin the shutout.
Head Coach Mike Tolkin put Zack Test in the starting lineup and Test had a lot to do in the first half, as Uruguay opted to kick frequently. Test made some good moves and set up a couple of scoring opportunities. From one of those, the USA set up a lineout close to the Uruguay line, and mauled it over - Pinkleman, later the Man of the Match - doing the honors.
But other try-scoring opportunities went begging. A forward pass cost Stanfill a sure try. A bobbled ball in a maul another. Andrew Durutalo was free and clear into the try zone, but didn't protect the ball and it was knocked out of his hand. But with an Adam Siddall penalty, the USA led 8-0 at halftime.
They made it 13-0 moments after the restart, with Stanfill looping nicely with Folau Niua, who drew two defenders and put the wing away in the corner. Later on, Lou Stanfill, no relation to the wing Tim, nabbed an overthrown lineout to score a fairly soft try. But that try was set up by Siddall punching a kick into the corner, forcing Uruguay to execute their lineout under pressure, which they didn't do.
Finally, after some muffed attempts to score, the Selects got their fourth try when Stanfill intercepted a pass and ran five meters into paydirt.
It actually should have been a massive blowout. The USA was too slow to the breakdown, weren't accurate and sent each other too many flat-footed passes. As a result, they ran a lot of phases, but, especially in the red zone, they didn't make ground.
Still, it was a nice victory for the USA Selects non-test team, and several players did themselves some good in terms of getting a full USA look. Among them, Troy Hall at fullback was very composed. Olive Kilifi, despite losing the ball in contact a few times, was a powerhouse up front.
The USA might drop down to 3rd even with the win, although for that to happen, Canada would need (as of this writing) to upset Argentina and score four tries in so doing. That is unlikely, and more likely is that the USA Selects will take 2nd in the ARC for the second year running, after finishing last in 2012.
USA Selects 30
Tries: Pinkelman, L. Stanfill, T. Stanfill 2
Convs: Siddall 2
Pens: Siddall 2