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USA Beats Canada, Qualifies for Rugby World Cup

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USA Beats Canada, Qualifies for Rugby World Cup

AJ MacGinty looks for space. Travis Prior photo courtesy USA Rugby and World Rugby.

The USA defeated Canada 52-16 in the second leg of the two-game Rugby World Cup to take the series and qualify as Americas #1 for the first time ever.

USA college and HS products featured prominently in the scoring. Cam Dolan (Naples HS, Life University) scored two tries, as did Joe Taufete'e (Belmont Shore U19s). Nate Brakeley (St. John's Prep, Dartmouth College), David Tameilau (Peninsula Green) Nate Augspurger (Southside HS, U. Minnesota), and Dino Waldren (Saint Mary's College) all touched down.

Since the late 1990s, Canada has had the USA's number in World Cup Qualifying. The Eagles lost to Canada in the 1998 qualifiers for RWC 1999, but beat Uruguay in a four-game playoff for three seeds. In 2002 Canada earned the Americas #1 seed, sweeping the USA in the process, while the USA had to go through the repechage.

In 2006, Canada thrashed the USA in a one-off playoff and the Eagles had to beat Uruguay for qualification. In 2009, the Eagles beat Canada in the first leg and lost in the second, losing on total points. And finally in 2013 the Eagles were swept by Canada in two games.

This time, the two teams tied in Hamilton, Ont. 28-28, and then the Eagles won 47-16, taking the series on aggregate 80-44.

Two of the big advantages to gaining qualification are time and money. Not having to wait to plan for the World Cup is a new luxury for the USA team. In addition, not playing in the next round will also save the USA program money in travel and various other resources.

For more on the USA v Canada game, see our report on our partner site FloRugby here. 

Among the notables for this weekend's game, this was by far the biggest margin of victory for the USA over Canada. For 15 years, from 1988 to 2003, the record winning margin was only 12. In 2003 that record winning margin improved to 15, and then 18 in 2015. Saturday, the Eagles won by 36.