Americas Pacific Challenge host has last say in Selects matchup

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay - The USA Rugby Selects dealt with multiple players sent to the sin bin in their final match of the Americas Pacific Challenge competition Sunday, and could not overcome Uruguay 'A' in the 47-15 defeat.

Malon Al-Jiboori scored his first try of the developmental tournament at Estadio Charrúa, while Jake Turnbull dotted down on the try line in a brief replacement stint with a front-rower serving time in the bin. Though Ben Cima did not remain perfect from the tee following Wednesday's 22-point output against Canada, he did successfully kick one of two conversions and a penalty.

The Selects were unable to garner a standings point from the match, and finish the Americas Pacific Challenge at the bottom of Pool A with five points, all gained from the rivalry victory in the second round of play.

Cima kicked off the match from midfield and the Selects put the first attack together, with the young fly half sending a grubber towards the corner to hem Uruguay in defensively. Brigham Young University's Matt Jensen stole the lineout but was taken down in the air, giving match official Ricardo Sant'Anna no choice but to send prop Mateo Sanguinetti to the bin after just three minutes of play. Cima slotted the penalty from the spot of the infraction to open the scoring, but Uruguay would score the only additional points during the 10-minute U.S. man-advantage, with fly half Jerónimo Etcheverry kicking two penalties of his own.

The Selects could not make the most of their trips into the attacking half of the field early in the match, either. Uruguay capitalized on an attacking opportunity in the 18th minute, with flanker Joaquín Dell'Acqua bursting through the defense in the U.S. half before offloading to back-row teammate Santiago Hernández for the first try of the match and a 13-3 Uruguay lead.

Just as in the previous two matches of the competition, the Selects struggled to cope with the opposition and referee when it came to scrum time. Angus MacLellan, in his first match action since joining up with Egan's charges in South America, was shown a yellow card in the 27th minute for a scrum infraction, which was quickly followed by two Etcheverry penalties before he could be released. With more scrums to come, No. 8 Cecil Garber made way for Turnbull to fill in the empty spot in the front row.

Holding strong on defense while also causing problems in Uruguay's lineouts, the Selects won the ball in the 35th minute and strung together an attack utilizing backs and forwards in harmony to see Turnbull attempt to place the ball on the try line behind himself. After review, Sant'Anna confirmed the try was scored for the Selects to cut the deficit to 19-10.

Egan's squad could not escape the half with the nine-point deficit, however, conceding a final try from a scrum deep in its own half to head into the break down, 26-10.

The second half began similar to the first, with Jensen taken down in a lineout and a Uruguayan shown a yellow card for the illegal play. The Selects remained on the attack until they scored in the 45th minute, with the center paring of Bryce Campbell and Martin Iosefo setting up Harry Higgins to offload quickly to Al-Jiboori just outside of the try line. The Lindenwood University man's dive into the try zone brought the score to 26-15, the closest the U.S. would get to overturning the Uruguay advantage.

The Selects shut down a scoring opportunity not long after their try and benefitted from Etcheverry's missed penalty attempt in the 55th minute, but could not get the benefit of a call when attempting to turn over possession in the breakdown in the second half.

Etcheverry missed a second penalty in the 61st minute before multiple lineouts and mauls tested the U.S. forwards. Christian Ostberg was shown a yellow card in 64th minute for not entering the maul correctly, with Uruguay finding the try zone within two minutes to extend the lead to 33-15.

Demecus Beach was not on the field for long before he, too, was shown a yellow card for dangerous play in the 67th minute. Defending with two fewer players than Uruguay had on attack, the Selects did not concede any points, but Uruguay packed two more tries onto the scoreboard ahead of the final whistle to see out the 47-15 victory.

USA Rugby Selects | v. Uruguay 'A'
1. Angus MacLellan
2. Joseph Taufete'e (C)
3. Alex Maughan
4. Matt Jensen
5. Harry Higgins
6. Malon Al-Jiboori
7. Aladdin Schirmer
8. Cecil Garber
9. Nicklas Boyer
10. Benjamin Cima
11. Mataiyasi Leuta
12. Bryce Campbell
13. Martin Iosefo
14. Brett Thompson
15. Mike Te'o

USA Rugby Selects | Reserves
16. Hanco Germishuys
17. Jake Turnbull
18. Demecus Beach
19. Christian Ostberg
20. Pat Blair
21. Stephen Tomasin
22. Jean-Pierre Eloff
23. Ahmad Harajly

Uruguay 'A' | v. USA
1. Mateo Sanguinetti
2. Martín Espiga
3. Mario Sagario (C)
4. Diego Magno
5. Manuel Leindekar
6. Joaquín Dell'Acqua
7. Santiago Hernández
8. Manuel Diana
9. Santiago Arata
10. Jerónimo Etcheverry
11. Nicolás Freitas
12. Juan Manuel Cat
13. Santiago Gibernau
14. Rodrigo Silva
15. Manuel Blengio

Uruguay 'A' | Reserves
16. Marcos Chamyan
17. Ignacio Secco
18. Juan Echeverría
19. Lorenzo Surraco
20. Fernando Bascou
21. Guillermo Lijtenstein
22. Andrés Rocco
23. Joaguín Prada

USA Rugby Selects | 15
Tries: Turnbull, Al-Jiboori
Conversions: Cima
Penalties: Cima
Discipline: MacLellan (Yellow), Ostberg (Yellow), Beach (Yellow)

Uruguay 'A' | 47
Tries: Hernández, Gibernau, Magno, Prada, Silva
Conversions: Etcheverry (5)
Penalties: Etcheverry (4)
Discipline: Sanguinetti (Yellow), Leindekar (Yellow)

Americas Pacific Challenge | Tournament Schedule

RoundDateTeamTeamTime (ET)
1 Oct. 8 Argentina XV 56-29 Canada A 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
12-62 Fiji Warriors 1:15 p.m.
Samoa A 44-42 Uruguay A 3:30 p.m.
2 Oct. 12 Samoa A 26-39 Fiji Warriors 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
47-37 Canada A 1:15 p.m.
Argentina XV 71-7 Uruguay A 3:30 p.m.
3 Oct. 16 Samoa A 27-22 Canada A 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
15-47 Uruguay A 1:15 p.m.
Argentina XV 27-26 Fiji Warriors 3:30 p.m.