Men's Eagles
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Men's Eagles  @ Estadio Charrúa
Americas Rugby Championship
  Federico Anselmi

Men's Eagles claim second consecutive ARC Championship with 5-0 record in Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO, URU. - The USA Eagles have beaten Uruguay, 61-19, to secure the Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) title for the second straight year. The Eagles ran in nine tries to Uruguay's three, becoming the first team in the short history of the ARC to go 5-0 in a campaign.

When asked what it means to the team to secure another ARC Championship, Head Coach Gary Gold answered, "It means a great deal, it's been a long 6 weeks for the guys, and we're very happy with the outcome. It's good to see all the hard work from the team and staff pay off. The group showed a lot of intent on how they want to play the game."

In ideal running rugby conditions, the eagles looked to set the tone early. Only needing to win in order to secure the ARC championship for the second year in a row, the Eagles made it clear they were wanting to send a message.

The first ten minutes was played at a helter-skelter pace with the US probing, charging and taking it to the Uruguayans. The first five minutes of the test were spent entirely in the Uruguayans' 22 with the Eagles looking to build a big lead and put their opposition to the sword from the get go. Quick thinking, on behalf of Tony Lamborn, from a penalty lead to the US building an early 7-0 lead six minutes in. From there it seemed white line fever was contagious as two minutes later Mike Te'o, crossed for the Eagles second try, as he broke off a 60-meter barnstorming gallop and put the ball down under the posts. After 8 minutes it was 14-0 USA.

Uruguay making it clear they weren't going down without a fight, tightened the defensive screws and were able to respond. Through a combination of strong counter attack, scrummaging and ill-discipline Uruguay were able to put pressure on the Eagles goal line. In the 18th minute it looked like they were about to strike back but strong defense in the centers caused a knock on and the Eagles title defense seemed to grow stronger. Shortly after Uruguay squandered their opportunity, the Eagles struck right back crossing for their third of the day courtesy of Dylan Fawsitt. The try was set up by a beautiful up and under from Will Magie, then a clever grubber through by Shaun Davies pinned the Uruguayans on their own line. A poor clearance kick made the rest a mere formality, as Fawsitt picked up the loose ball pirouetting passed the defense. After 22 minutes the Eagles had a commanding 21-0 lead.

After a period of play where the ball was kept in the middle of the field, it was the captain who provided the spark and inspired the Eagles to score two tries in two minutes. The first try, was awarded as a penalty try, after a strong run by Augspurger he went for the chip and chase. The ball took somewhat of a cruel bounce causing, a melee of sorts in the air over the goal line. After consulting the TMO, it was decided that the Uruguayan half back intentionally slapped the ball out of the hands of the US. The penalty try was awarded as too was a yellow card. The Eagles took full advantage of the man advantage and after a clever cross-field kick from Dylan Audsley, Augspurger was able to finish off what he had started in the previous passage of play. After 28 minutes the Eagles were in the lead, 35-0. The US were not done exploiting the man advantage. More ill-dicisipline from Los Teros allowed the Eagles to march down the field and maul the ball in from a 5-meter line out. The try was given to Hanco Germishuys. At the half Eagles led 40-0.

Gold was pleased to see a clicking offense after the first 40 minutes, "It was a tremendous first half, I commended the guys at halftime for the early possessions. We really wanted to put on an emphatic performance here in the final match.

We knew we had to put points on the board having seen the Uruguayan side put up 67 against Chile last week."

The second half resumed, and it looked as if the attacking onslaught had as well. Two minutes into the second half Mike Te'o crossed for his second after some scintillating hands from the backline. Uruguay not looking to take anything lying down, crossed almost immediately after the Te'o try, after a poor restart. Five minutes into the second half it was 47-7. The following ten minutes saw some text book running rugby. With both teams showing off the prowess of their backlines and swapping scores, when Josh Whippy crossed the line in the 54th minutes it was 54-14.

The game continued to progress with both teams threatening but neither team able to finish their opportunities. However, when Uruguay received their second yellow card of the game in the 65th minute, this time for a tackle without wrapping the Eagles looked once again to pounce. But against the flow of play Uruguay managed to go coast to coast and dot down in the 70th minute. The Eagles not to be out done moved down the field from the restart and in the 75th minute Psalm Wooching crossing over. For Wooching, this would mark his first international try in what is looking to be a very promising Eagles career.

After 80 minutes, the Men's Eagles finished off their perfect ARC record with a 61-19 win. Having claimed the ARC title for the second consecutive year, the Men's Eagles program is beginning to show its growth of talent with the Rugby World Cup 2019 on the horizon.

When asked what his message is to the players as they depart for their respective clubs, Gold advocates that each to not let up on the momentum created this winter, "This team has shown the ability to play a great game of rugby, but we've urged each player to not to take the foot off the gas."

"With top-teir teams like Scotland upcoming this June, we have some great challenges ahead. Together or not, the focus is to always work on getting better."

The group will now break for the next few months before reassembling in June for the Emirates Summer Series in Denver. Tickets for the two match series in Colorado and Houston are on sale now.

Gold finished by reiterating his creed to treat each test match as valuable preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. With strong performances like the ARC on display, American rugby fans can be rightfully excited for the next year and half as kick off nears.


Gary Gold: Head Coach
Greg McWilliams: Assistant Coach - Backs & Attack
Scott Lawrence: Assistant Coach - Defense
Shawn Pittman: Assistant Coach - Set Piece
Chris Hanson: Team Manager
Dave Hodges: Men's Eagles General Manager
Jimmy Harrison: Performance Analyst
Kevin Ng: Head ATC
Dr. Jeff Mjaanes: Team Doctor