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Improved Performance for Raptors in Super Rugby Americas

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Improved Performance for Raptors in Super Rugby Americas

Mike Grandy assessed his options. Photo Ramiro Cicao & Dante Fernandez | @gaspafotos

The American Raptors lost their second Super Rugby Americas game but have shown a bit of a step forward.

In dropping a 28-19 decision to Peñarol, The Raptors showed some adventure in their attack and plenty of fight.

The Glendale, Colo.-based team of actually opened the scoring when center Aki Pulu popped a nice little kick to wing Seimou Smith and Smith dove in for the opening try of the game. 

Peñarol started to work their pattern after that and played a nice vertical game of hard lines and offloads to score. The teams traded penalty goals after that and it was 13-8 at halftime. 

In the second half the Peñarol forwards went to work, bashing over one try and then scoring on a good old-fashioned eight-man shove.

Raptors pressure earned them a couple more penalty goals before a nice run from replacement hooker Sione Finefeuiaki set them up inside the Peñarol half. Good work from Diego Magno and Ethan McVeigh got them to the 22, which set up a Pulu to draw attention and feed Smith.

Smith almost made it to the line and then popped a lovely offload off the deck to for Watson Filikitonga to finish off.

Three players from the Raptors were named to the Super Rugby Americas team of the week, with halfback combo Martín Landajo and Lucas Gonzáles Amorosino getting the nod, as did Pulu at inside center.

At 0-2 the Raptors are 7th in the seven-team competition. Selknam (the team the Raptors played a week ago) and Dogos lead at 2-0. Next up is Pampas out of Argentina, again on the road. They sit 1-1after beating Cobras Brasil (also 0-2) and the losing to Selknam.