Eagles Fly Past Condors
Eagles Fly Past Condors
The USA did what was required in Santiago, dispelling the demons of a 2002 loss to Chile and defeating the Condors 57 to 9 Saturday in Americas Rugby Championship Round 4.
The USA improves to 4-0 in the ARC, matching Argentina XV and setting up a winner-take-all clash in Comodoro Rivadavia next week.
A changed USA team tried to play open, expansive rugby in the open 20 minutes, but Chile had a plan, and that plan was to send their midfield defenders up really fast to stop the ball going wide. It was relatively effective, despite one movement where a quick pass from Mike Te’o almost put Spike Davis over.
But Davis lost the ball in contact, and in fact that was the story of the first quarter, as the Eagles had plenty of ball, but could only get one Ben Cima penalty goal out of it.
Chile did reply with a penalty to make it 3-3, but things started to slowly unravel for the Condors when they took a yellow card on a high tackle. The USA pressured, and pressure, but couldn’t quite make that pressure count, and then they got their chance. Chile worked a move and broke down the sideline. Davis the wing chased his man down and the ball came loose. Scrumhalf Shaun Davies picked it up, dummied out of trouble, and booted the ball down the field.
Center Bryce Campbell chased the ball down, gathered, passed to Davis, who linked with Tony Lamborn. The flanker sent a long pass to No. 8 Cam Dolan, who had stayed in a wide lane, and Dolan galloped in under the posts.
It was a pretty try and it seemed to relax the Americans. JP Eloff chased a kick and knocked it down for Lamborn, but that try was called back for Eloff being offside. Chile did get a penalty, but late in the first half Campbell broke through, set the platform, and after a series attempts at the line out wide and in tight, Lamborn wriggled his way over. Cime converted and that made it 17-6 at halftime.
On a hot summer afternoon in Santiago, the Chileans hoped to strike quickly, and they spent much of the first few minutes pressing the USA line.
The Eagles halted their charge right at the line, and the ball was waiting there at the back of the ruck. Campbell came in from the wrong side to take the ball, and got a yellow card for the professional foul.
Chile opted for a scrum at that point, but the Eagle pack held them unmoving, and with the ball not coming out, got a turnover on the put-in. Chile eventually got a penalty, but they needed a try there.
Once they got the ball back, the Eagles started to push the pace, and the Condors started to run out of gas.
Mike Te’o sliced through the line and quickly the ball was recycled to Lamborn. He sent a long pass to Davis, who fed Eloff, and from a ruck at the tryline sub David Tameilau picke dup and was over.
The tries started to flow then. Tameilau blocked a kick, chased the rolling ball, gathered it up with one hand, and passed to lock Matt Jensen for a long-range try. Augspurger ran past everyone but was called back for stepping on the touchline. Will Magie, on as a sub, drew two defenders and set Todd Clever free for a powerful run. Clever hurt himself on the charge, but scored anyway.
Then Lamborn intercepted a pass from a Chilean lineout and ran in untouched. Prop Olive Kilifi broke through and passed off to Augspurger like he was a center. Augspurger fed hooker Peter Malcolm who rumbled 35 meters. Moments later, Malcolm was off from 45 meters for another, and perhaps a little lie-down for the front-rower.
While it took a while, the Eagles put this game away by sticking with the program, and having their subs pick up the tempo. All of the subs were used and all contributed. The only worrying thing would be the leg injury to Clever.
Overall, this was a game where the tight five players did the dirty work and worked hard to make those late tries happen.
Cima was superb as a kicker and ran the attack well at flyhalf, and Eloff was active in the backline. Dolan produced several poaches in the breakdown, and Lamborn was at the middle of almost every scoring opportunity.
Now the Eagles have a chance to win their first major international 15s tournament since 1924, but will have to beat the Argentina non-test team in the Patagonian city of Comodoro Rivadavia.
|USA 57||Chile 9|
|Tries: Dolan, Lamborn 2, Tameilau, Jensen, Clever, Malcolm 2|
|Convs: Cima 7|
|Pens: Cima||Pens: Gonzalez Moller 3|
|1. Ben Tarr||1. Vittorio Lastra|
|2. James Hilterbrand||2. Manuel Gurruchaga|
|3. Chris Baumann||3. José Tomás Munita|
|4. Matthew Jensen||4. Mario Mayol|
|5. Siaosi Mahoni||5. Nikola Bursic|
|6. Todd Clever||6. Arturo Seeman|
|7. Tony Lamborn||7. Anton Petrowitsch|
|8. Cameron Dolan||8. Manueal Dagnino|
|9. Shaun Davies||9. Sergio Bascuñán|
|10. Ben Cima||10. Francisco González|
|11. Nate Augspurger (C)||11. Tomás Ianiszewski|
|12. JP Eloff||12. Simón Pardakhty|
|13. Bryce Campbell||13. Franco Velarde|
|14. Aaron Davis||14. Matías Contreras|
|15. Mike Te'o||15. Pedro Pablo Verschae|
|16. Peter Malcolm (@52 for Hilterbrand)||16. Rodrigo Moya|
|17. Anthony Purpura (@48 for Tarr)||17. Sebastián Valech|
|18. Olive Kilifi (@57 for Baumann)||18. Ernesto Ugarte|
|19. Hanco Germishuys (@66 for Clever)||19. Nelson Calderón|
|20. David Tameilau (@48 for Mahoni)||20. Eduardo Orpis|
|21. Will Magie (@65 for Davis)||21. Beltrán Vergara|
|22. Calvin Whiting (@62 for Eloff)||22. Jorge Castillo|
|23. Andrew Turner (@69 for Davies)||23. Mauricio Urrutia|