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USA U20s Win 5th in OT

National Teams

USA U20s Win 5th in OT

Ben Cima scored a try and kicked the game-tying, and game-winning penalties. Charmaine Chitate photo.

HARARE, Zimbabwe - The USA U20s finished 5th at the World Rugby U20 Trophy with a 2-2 record after coming from behind to beat Uruguay 32-30 in extra time Sunday.

Disappointed to have lost a must-win game against Spain that would have seen the Junior All Americans win the pool, the U20s instead took 3rd in their pool and had to be content with a fight for 5th.

Uruguay opened the scoring with a nice kick-and-chase from fullback Pablo Zeballos. Uruguay kept up the pressure and looked like they might score more, but couldn't quite finish it off. Then USA skipper Hanco Germishuys, who has been the chief try-scorer for the team, pounded his way through for a try, and Ben Cima's conversion made it 8-6 USA.

Uruguay retook the lead with a try from Sebastian Pfeiff, and then Cima went over to make it 14-14. Just before halftime, the Americans took the lead when Malon Al-Jibori carried two defenders over the line to make it 20-14 (reminder, experimental law variations for this tournament include tries being worth 6 points).

But Uruguay replied once more, with scrumhalf Lucas Duran scampering through for a try that, with the conversion, made it 22-20 Uruguay at halftime. 

In the second half, Uruguay pressed their advantage as Guillermo Willamson set up Martin Fitipaldo for a try to make it 30-22.  The USA worked to come back but struggled to break through until a long pass from sub scrumhalf Ruben de Haas to Cima was tapped on by the flyhalf to Duncan Van Schalkwyk, and he was in. Cima hit the conversion and it was 30-28 Uruguay. With time winding down, Uruguay was penalized and Cima, who has hit so many clutch kicks, hit another one to force overtime.

In the extra period, Uruguay was let down by their discipline. Federico Bruno was seen by the assistant referee to punch USA player Brennan Falcon twice. The off-the-ball incident took a USA knock-on and made it a penalty for the Americans. Bruno was subsequently suspended from rugby for three weeks because of the incident.

So it was up to Cima once more, and the cool-headed Gonzaga product knocked the 45-meter kick over the clinch a 32-30 victory.


It wasn't the only overtime game of the final round. Samoa won the U20 Trophy with a sudden-death 38-32 win over Spain. Fiji took 3rd with a 44-30 win over Namibia. Hong Kong took 7th with a 44-40 win over Zimbabwe.

The USA finished 2-2, losing two games by two points each, and winning one game by two points. Germishuys led the team with eight tries, and scored in every game. Al-Jiboori was second with three tries.

 USA U20s Lineup v Uruguay 
1. Sam Benkowski 
2. Steven Branham 
3. Mason Pedersen 
4. Bronson Teles 
5. Deven Marshall 
6. Malon Al-Jiboori 
7. Brennan Falcon 
8. Hanco Germishuys (C) 
9. Louis Mulholland 
10. Ben Cima 
11. Devin Lim 
12. Duncan Van Schalkwyk 
13. Brian Hannon 
14. Tyler Sousley 
15. Mitch Wilson

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | Reserves 
16. Ruairi Van Raalte 
17. Chance Wenglewski 
18. Roman Salanoa 
19. Chad Sneyd 
20. Veuki Taumefolau 
21. Ruben De Haas 
22. Roddy Giles

USA U20s 32 
Tries: Germishuys, Cima, Al-Jiboori, Van Schalkwyk 
Convs: Cima (2) 
Pens: Cima (2)

Uruguay U20s 30 
Tries: Duran, Fitipaldo, Faggi Pfeiff, Bruno Zeballos 
Convs: Etcheverry (3)


Previous Box Scores:

USA 44 
Tries: Germishuys 3, Al-Jiboori, Mulholland, Wilson
Convs: Cima 2, Giles
Pens: Giles

Namibia 46
Tries: De Klerk, Kavita, Luttig, Nortje, Van Der Merwe, Wilson
Convs: Olivier 3, Loubser 2


USA 32
Tries: Germishuys 2, Al-Jiboori, Heer
Convs: Cima 3
Pens: Cima

Hong Kong 12
Tries: Owens, Healy


USA 16
Tries: Germishuys 2
Convs: Cima 2

Spain 18
Tries: Portoles Del Hoyo, Sanchez Mata
Convs: Rabagao 2
Pens: Rabagao