Men's Eagles
14 0
Argentina XV
45 21
Men's Eagles  @ Marabunta Rugby Club
February 9, 20185:30 pm CMT
Americas Rugby Championship
flo-rugby

USA Men's Eagles suffer first loss of 2019 to Argentina XV

RIO NEGRO, ARG. - For the first time since 2016, the United States has recorded a loss in the Americas Rugby Championship. In a long, tiresome and frustrating match with Argentina XV, the Men's Eagles battled through mind-numbing heat against penalties, ball-handling errors and a quick Argentinan ball that saw the other side come away 45-14. 

It can be argued that in order to win games, sometimes you have to take a loss. Because in the face of adversity, the emergence of character, understanding, growth and perspective all create an important guide. It can also be said that success isn't built in winning single victories but in the longevity of learning from mistakes and producing the right results.

"Comfortably the worst performance since I've been involved with the team, everything we tried to execute was wrong," said Head Coach Gary Gold, disappointed in the day's result. "We didn't play to our strengths which is our good set piece; we lost the ball, we missed touch, we gave away silly penalties at critical times and against a good team. We knew it was going to be tough and we just made life difficult for ourselves.

"When you play against a good team, they punish you. And that's what happened today. But that's a good lesson for us, maybe things have been going too easy for too long and now we need to get back to working hard again and improve for the rest of ARC." 

The Men's Eagles were delivered a difficult hand by Argentina XV right on the opening kickoff. After missing three consecutive tackles, the Argentinian side ran along the edge and made a quick offload to put the ball in first, 7-0. Argentina XV were on the board again shortly after, catching the USA off guard in a lineout where two neat phases helped Lucas Favre dot down in the middle, 14-0. 

Relentless, determined and punishing, Argentina XV continued to capitalize on mistakes by the USA, applying pressure at the set piece to keep possession on their side for majority of the first half of play. Errors in ball handling proved to be the ultimate detriment to the Eagles side, where knock ons and penalties at the breakdown gave too many opportunities back to the opposing side. 

Things moved in a better direction when Eagle Gannon Moore used a monster breakaway on the outside to get the Eagles mid-field. Offloads remained precise as Cam Dolan moved the USA inside the 22 but a penalty gave the ball right back to Argentina XV. 

The Eagles contained the Argentinians for a good twenty-minutes despite a couple forward passes and holding on penalties that gave up any chances of evening the score. 

With a lineout inside the 22, the United States tossed in a crooked ball and Argentina XV used the ensuing scrum to run away with another try, 0-21. 

Things escalated quickly when USA's Paul Lasike drew a red card for his response to Argentinian foul play. With a man down and the score tipped out of favor,  pressure weighed even more heavily on the Eagles' side. 

Bright moments of opportunity were handed to the USA but the Americans just couldn't hold on for long enough to make them count. 

Pristine defensive work by USA's Gannon Moore signaled a team unwilling to give up the match. With Argentina XV into the tryzone, Moore wrapped around his opponent and held him up in goal. A long run by Cam Dolan added to the theme but was again stripped from production when Dolan was pushed to touch. 

Another long run from Dolan was surely in for a try until defenders closed in around him and a chip kick to AJ MacGinty went unrecovered. 

The second half continued to be an unfortunate replica of the first with two unforced handling errors at the beginning allowing Argentina XV to score first, 26-0. 

With tensions rising even further, Eagle John Quill and Argentina XV's Lucas Mensa were sent to the sin bin for actions at the breakdown. 

Argentina XV used the advantage to score the next three tries bringing the scoreline to 45-0 as the Eagles side continued to fight. 
 
With only minutes remaining, the USA had found its way back inside Argentina XV territory. And when an offload to Will Magie was tipped by Argentinian defenders, the referee called an intentional knock on and awarded the Eagles a penalty try, 7-45. 

A clean break by Hanco Germishuys on the kickoff put the United States back in motion where a serious of well-played offloads moved the ball all the way to the left flank. There, Cam Dolan tossed to Dylan Fawsitt who moved with impressive pace to dot down and take another right at fulltime, 14-45. 

Undoubtedly heartbroken by the result, the USA will now enter a bye week to reflect on today's performance and prepare for the remaining three tests. The Americas Rugby Championship 2019 continues with three consecutive home games for the Eagles,  including one in Austin, TX against Brazil (Feb23), and two in Seattle against Uruguay (Mar 2) and rival-Canada (Mar 8). 

Tickets for all three games are available at usarugby.org/tickets with matches broadcast LIVE on FloRugby exclusively in the United States.

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 | Mark Sakr (Chile, Argentina Uruguay, Canada)
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
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)

BYE WEEK

Saturday, Feb 23
vs Brazil | 7:10 PM CT
Dell Diamond, Austin, TX
Get Tickets

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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