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Cima Talks Kicking, Wind, and Winning

National Teams

Cima Talks Kicking, Wind, and Winning

Ben Cima tied for the most points in the ARC. Colleen McCloskey photo.

The USA Men’s 15s team seemed to have their game against the Argentina XV in hand, and then they didn’t.

Two yellow cards and two penalty tries turned a 15-3 lead into a 17-15 deficit … a deficit that ballooned to 27-15 before the Argentineans were done.

“We tried to come out firing in the second half but they got them best of us in the first 20,” said fullback and former Gonzaga HS star Ben Cima. “We ramped it up in the last 20 and we able to pull it out for the win.”

The game itself was played in Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, located on the Atlantic coast in what is known as the Roaring 40s, a band of high winds in the Southern Hemisphere. Certainly those winds were in evidence this week. Cima had to kick in that wind and it wasn’t easy, even the final conversion in front of the posts (which he nailed). But the Eagle fullback wasn’t fazed.

“We were training with 60mph winds every day of training this week so the mild breeze we had was nothing compared to our training,” Cima told Goff Rugby Report. And at the end, “Cam Dolan offered some encouraging words before the kick that helped calm my nerves.”

The conversion went over, the game was tied, and the USA were Americas Rugby Championship winners. Cima, for his part, had scored his 43rd point in the ARC, tying him with Brazil’s Moises Duque for the most in the tournament, and one ahead of Argentina’s Domingo Miotti. But getting to that point was a team effort.

“Our training prepared us for the physicality and demands of the game,” said Cima, “and I think that was the difference that got us the championship.”