Men's Junior All-Americans Fall to Canada U20s in First Match of World Rugby Trophy Qualifier

USA displays promising first half but falls to disciplined Canadian force in second half

COLLEGE STATION, TX. - The Men's Junior All-Americans (MJAAs) fell to a dominant Canadian U20s side in their first match of the World Rugby Trophy Qualifier series. After a promising first half that saw the MJAAs hold Canada to two tries, the United States struggled defensively in the second and ultimately fell to a 10-60 final result. Though USA fans at Texas A&M University were disappointed the Men's Junior All-Americans have one more chance to build their cumulative score and qualify for the international tournament this August.

The second and final installment of the World Rugby Trophy Qualifier will take place at Rice University on Sat, June 16 at 3:30 PM CT. Updates will be provided by following @USARugby on Twitter.

The Canadians were first to put points on the board with a try in the left corner 10 minutes into the match, 0-5. A penalty on Canada's 22-meter line allowed  USA's Patrick Madden to slot a kick right through the posts shortly after, making it 3-5.

Canada would increase their lead by another 10 points (3-15) with a penalty goal, try and conversion, after which capped Men's Eagle and MJAAs Captain Ruben de Haas sprung into action.  

A Canadian penalty put both teams into a scrum where USA's No. 8 Santi Mascolofed the ball precisely to de Haas who ran it in for the score at the half, 10-15. By this point, the Men's Junior All-Americans were only five points down with every opportunity to finish the match in their favor. But, despite early efforts, the second half would prove to be a difficult challenge to overcome. 

In the opening minute, the Canadians won a turnover and dotted down right underneath the posts to make it 10-22. Accurate kicking and tactical discipline allowed the Canada's U20s to dominate the match for the next several minutes of play. With another opposing try scored (10-27) tensions rose and USA's Bronson Telespicked up a red card shifting the dynamic and momentum of the match. 

Canada would take the next two scores by way of a turnover and penalty try, respectively, 10-41. But, with 17 minutes left on the clock, the United States still had something to show. 

Two back-to-back tries kept the Men's Junior All-Americans in the game, winning back a confidence and competitive drive they struggled to renew through the second half of play. First, Captain Ruben de Haas Justin Johnson who wasted no time converting for the score. Patrick Madden notched another accurate kick and USA had moved up 17-41.

Then, on the kickoff, the United States were at it again. A passing relay between Quin Perry, Jack Bradfield and Campbell Johnstone gave the U.S. another 5 points to cut the Canadian lead, 22-41. 

Canada would score another three tries before all was said and done, bringing the final score to 22-60 for a tough first loss for the Men's Junior All-Americans. 

Thanks to the hospitality offered by Texas A&M University's Penberthy Playing Field, both sides were able to play in front of a boisterous crowd of American rugby fans. The final match of the World Rugby Trophy Qualifier is set for  Saturday, June 16th at 3:30 PM CT at Rice University. With the game occurring in the same local region as the senior U.S. Men's National Team's contest with Scotland, fans are encouraged to enjoy a full day of American rugby. 

Admission to the Men's Junior All-American v. Canada U20s match is free of charge. Updates will be provided by following @USARugby on social media.

MEN'S JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN STARTERS | 2018 WORLD RUGBY TROPHY QUALIFIER | MATCH #1

PLAYERPOSITIONCLUB
1. Payton IlalioPropSaint Mary's College
2. Dillon ShotwellHookerSam Houston State University
3. David AinuuPropToulouse Rugby 
4. Ronan MurphyLockSaint Mary's College
5. Bronson TelesLockUniversity of Arizona
6. Bailey WilsonFlankerUtah United
7. Justin Johnson FlankerLife University 
8. Santi MascoloNo. 8Iona College
9. Ruben de Haas (C)Scrum HalfFree State Cheetahs 
10. Sam WalshFly HalfScots College (NZ)
11. Noah NiumataiwaluWingSaint Joseph's University 
12. Quinn PerryCenterSanta Monica Rugby 
13. Jack WendlingCenterCentral Washington University 
14. Patrick MedinaWingAustin Blacks
15. Patrick MaddenFull back Cal Poly State University - San Louis Obispo 

MEN'S JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN RESERVES | 2018 WORLD RUGBY TROPHY QUALIFIER 


PLAYERPOSITIONCLUB
16. Stephen McLeishReserveLindenwood University 
17. Jack WilesReserveSt. Bonaventure University
18. Daryl BagleyReserveAmerican International College
19. Will WaguespackReserveNOLA Gold Rugby 
20. Devin ShortReserveSan Diego Legion 
21. Ethan McVeighReserveOld Mission Beach Athletic Club - Wallabies 
22. Campbell JohnstoneReserveMount St. Mary's University 
23. Jack BradfieldReserve Cleveland Westside Rovers 

MEN'S JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN STAFF | 2018 WORLD RUGBY TROPHY QUALIFIER

POSITIONSTAFF
Head CoachScott Bracken
Assistant CoachMichael Engelbrecht
Assistant CoachBrendan O'Meara
Athletic TrainerCatherine Donahue
Team ManagerKevin McCorry 
Director of RugbyJD Stephenson 

MEN'S JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN SCHEDULE | WORLD RUGBY TROPHY QUALIFIERS

v. Canada U20s | 22-60 (L)

v. Canada U20s
Tue, June 16 | 3:30 PM CT
Intramural Field (Rice University)
Admission is free