HSAAs concede late in first match of South American Tour

The USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans opened with a Ben Cima penalty goal after three minutes, then went through eight phases to finish with a Malcolm May try and Cima conversion at nine minutes on the way to an 18-25 loss to Cordoba Academy Thursday.

The 10-point lead was built on the powerful running from the tight five especially Titi Lamositele and Valdemar Lee-Lo and the dominant scrummaging in the early stages. The HSAAs showed patience and continuity in the red zone to pressure their way into the lead.

Cordoba were under pressure from the HSAAs for 30 minutes before they got on the scoreboard with a penalty on a rare excursion into the HSAA half. Just before half-time a poor kick chase that could have been an HSAA try was returned for a 90-yard counter attack by Cordoba, giving the home team a 10-10 tie against the run of play. A yellow card to May forced the HSAAs to play with 14 men either side of halftime.

Cordoba opened the second half with a wind advantage and momentum resulting in a well-worked try in the left corner giving them a 15-10 lead at 45 minutes. A long range penalty from Cima hit the upright at 47 minutes however the HSAAs kept pressure on Cordoba and went through six phases to finish with a Lee-Lo try at 60 minutes. Cima missed the conversion but kicked a penalty goal from the left sideline to give the HSAAs an 18-15 edge.

Following the restart, Cima's clearance kick was blocked and Cordoba moved into a 22-18 lead at 67 minutes. They added a penalty goal a few minutes later to finish the game with a 25-18 win.

"Encouraging performance in part,” Head Coach Salty Thompson said. “We made progress in possession, go-forward, ball retention and tactically playing the game in Cordoba's half. Our defense was structured and we maintained shape but we make naive mistakes that cost us points."

USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans | vs. Cordoba
1. Titi Lamositele
2. Steven Branham
3. Valdemar Lee-Lo
4. Siaosi Mahoni
5. Justin Allen
6. Malcolm May
7. Hanco Germishuys
8. Viliami Helu
9. Michael Reid
10. Benjamin Cima
11. Joeli Tikoisuva
12. Calvin Whiting (C)
13. Seth Halliman
14. Aaron Matthews
15. Zachary Webber

USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans | Reserves
16. Jesus Arias
17. Suwaiter Poch, Jr.
18. John Marti
19. Andrew Naylor
20. Anthony Fotu
21. Reed Heynen
22. Gabriel Ruflin
23. Jimmy Ronan
24. James Wolfer
25. Christian Adams