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Mexico Defeats USA South In RAN u19s Final

Int'l News

Mexico Defeats USA South In RAN u19s Final

Mexico defeated USA Rugby South 30-20 to win the Rugby Americas North Men's U19 Championship in Barbados.

The game was as tight and dramatic as expected, with Mexico's vaunted defense tested by a smart USA South attack that crashed ball up the middle and tried to exploit out wide.

But the Panthers could not make all of their scoring opportunities count, as the Mexican defensive pressure in the backs forced some iffy passes.

Mexico scored first and held a slim 5-0 lead thanks to some heads-up play on a quick-tap penalty. But then a yellow card for use of the boot put the Serpientes down a player. The South capitalized with a try from hooker Jullian Skinner. The difficult conversion was good from Grant Caldwell and the South led 7-5. Soon it was 14-5 when center Ethyn Baker cut through for a second South try. Caldwell was once again good on the kick.

But Mexico replied by chasing the restart and putting the South under pressure before going over. that made it 14-12, and then the critical period of play. With time essentially up in the first half, the South had the ball with several chances to put it over. Repeated penalties by Mexico gave the South chance after chance, but the Panthers couldn't exploit the opportunities, and a knock-on ended the half.

After that the teams were back and forth once more. Caldwell slotted a penalty only a few minutes into the second half, and Mexico answered after a torrid period of pressure 11 minutes in to make it 17-15.

More pressure from the Serpientes produced a fairly easy penalty attempt and Mexico retook the lead 18-17.

The South answered immediately with some good chase on the kick from captain Jalen Greatrex and front-rower Koby Baker and a penalty led to Caldwell putting the kick over.

So the South now led 20-18, but Mexico finished stronger. Two late tries, the second coming as the South was trying to run out of its own end, put the game away.

Mexico was very committed at the point of contact and put their bodies on the line. The Serpientes were a little crisper with their ball handling, and for USA South that was a shame, as they had runners 

You can see the whole final here:

https://youtu.be/jtraGAd19cQ

Trinidad & Tobago took 3rd 22-15 over Bermuda, Cayman Islans took 5th 32-19 over Jamaica, and Barbaros defeated Curacao 30-0 to take 7th.