Men's Eagles
33 25
Brazil
28 13
Men's Eagles  @ Dell Diamond
Americas Rugby Championship
flo-rugby

Men's Eagles hold on to overcome Brazil in thriller

AUSTIN, TX. - In tight matches, the home crowd is everything. After a thrilling battle at Austin's Dell Diamond, the USA Men's Eagles overcame Brazil 33-28 to improve 2-1 in the Americas Rugby Championship 2019. 

The Brazilians came into the match sporting a notoriously strong set piece which -- coupled with their strength on defense -- presented a unique challenge to overcome. Especially, in the final minutes. 

"Pretty disappointed in how we allowed Brazil back into the game. There were periods of time in the game where we looked after the ball and we did what we wanted to do and we were very difficult to stop. No try is an easy try, but we scored tries at will and the issue wasn't necessarily that the defense was so bad," said Head Coach Gary Gold, describing his assessment of the team's performance.

"Our ill discipline just let them back in the game. If we didn't give 16 penalties away, they wouldn't have stayed in the game. I'm tired of saying this but it's another big lesson learned and there's no way we should be satisfied with that performance.  I think we got lucky."  

USA was on the board first when an early penalty against Brazil allowed Will Magie to slot three points through the posts. And though it was a small margin of momentum, it was still energy which fueled the next several minutes of play. 

The United States spent much of their time inside the 22 when wing Mike Te'o broke into Brazilian territory. A lineout and a cascade of phases helped the Eagles cross the tryline but the ball was held up in goal. And after another lineout, Brazil's defense pushed the Eagles further back. 

Flyhalf Will Magie managed to get another penalty kick when Brazil's Lucas Abud drew a yellow card. The Eagles then committed a penalty of their own which allowed Brazil to balance the scoreline at 6-3. 

25 minutes into the first half, and amidst the screaming home fans, the USA finally found the rhythm to put three tries on the board. 

First, a perfectly timed Paul Lasike jolted up the pitch to capture the ball from a U.S. scrum and dotted down easily. Then immediately after,  Mike Te'o broke free on the edge and passed to flanker Hanco Germishuys for another one in the corner, 20-3.

Brazil intercepted the scoring spree with a penalty kick but it wasn't enough to break the Eagle stride. On the next possession, center Paul Lasike ran past a herd of defenders and tossed to Mike Te'o on the edge for another try, 25-6. 

The third Eagle try was enough to spark the Brazilian offense who spent the remainder of the half employing their tactful set piece play. 

A ferocious attack brought Brazil inside the five-meter line where a penalty gave USA a scrum. The Brazilians showed strength, however, forcing two consecutive penalties and driving the final set piece over the line. With the score edged 25-13, pressure mounted as both teams closed out the half. 

Brazil returned with the same intensity, fired up from their previous score, while the Eagles began to make mistakes. Back-to-back penalties gave the Brazilians two kicking attempts, though only one sailed through the posts. 

The United States moved back on track shortly after, when Mike Te'o broke wide open and passed to John Quill for a smashing try, 30-16. Hanco Germishuys dotted down again on the next possession but the referee stripped the try as Germishuys was penalized for advancing after he was brought to the ground. 

With 14 minutes to go, Eagle Will Magie kicked another penalty to open a crucial final chapter of the game. 

Split by 12 points, the score was far too close for either side to feel any comfort.  A lineout helped Brazil get inside the 22 when Ben Landry drew a yellow card and tensions rose on the field of play. 

A Brazilian scrum got the opposition even closer, allowing them inside the five-meter line to score an almost unstoppable try, 33-28. 

In the end, one final attack by Brazil came up short when a loose offload fell into touch. With their hands on the ball in the 81st minute, the Eagles kicked to touch and sealed a tight victory. 

Though they found a momentous stride at many points in the match, the USA struggled to remain sharp in various critical moments. Despite the challenges, the Eagles will now travel to Seattle with a win under their belts and two more home crowds to help guide the energy in their favor. 

The USA next faces Uruguay at Starfire Sports on Mar 2, LIVE on FloRugby. Tickets are available at usarugby.org/tickets. 

USA Men's Eagles Staff

Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Backs & Attack | Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Forwards | Shawn Pittman
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Team Doctor | Sam Akhavan (Brazil)
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz
Team Manager | Chris Hanson

Americas Rugby Championship 2019 Schedule & Results

LIVE on FloRugby in the United States

vs Chile | 71-8 (W)

vs Argentina XV | 45-14 (L)

vs Brazil | 33-28 (W)

Saturday, Mar 2
vs Uruguay | 7:10 PM PT
Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA
Get Tickets

Friday, Mar 8
vs Canada | 7:10 PM PT
Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA
Get Tickets

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About the Americas Rugby Championship

The Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) is an international, round-robin competition at the test level which features six competing teams from North and South America including Argentina XV, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Uruguay and USA. All matches contested in the ARC count for rankings points and test caps with the exception of those played against Argentina XV who compete as a secondary national team. Originally introduced as a development tournament, the Americas Rugby Championship began operating at the senior international level in 2016 where Argentina XV (who remained as part of the setup) claimed the inaugural championship and USA took runners-up. USA are currently reigning champions having won both the 2017 and 2018 ARC with Argentina XV runners-up in both years.

ARC Points Structure

Win - 4 points
Draw - 2 points
Loss - 0 points

Bonus
Scoring 4+ tries - 1 point
Losing by 7 or fewer points - 1 point

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