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Last-second try gives Eagles ARC Title

The US Eagles have won the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship. David Tameilau’s 80th minute try saw the Eagles finish in a 27-27 draw with the Argentina XV, but more importantly gave them a four-try bonus point that sees them crowned champions for the first time, with Argentina forced to look on disappointed at the final whistle.

A combative first half saw both sides aim their best weapons at their opponents but resilient defense prevented any real try-scoring chances. Domingo Miotti opened the scoring from the boot, an indication that Argentina were there to win by any means, but the USA bizarrely spurned an easy three points just a few minutes alter for a shot at the corner. The gamble didn’t pay off but they tied things up anyway after a monster Ben Cima kick from more than 50 meters and at a tricky angle.

The first try finally came, an opportunistic score for Will Magie. Chris Baumann ripped the ball clean at the breakdown and Nate Augspurger scampered away down the left flank. The winger was caught just short of the line but Magie was on hand to take the offload and dive over for the score. Cima couldn’t add the extras but the Eagles were ahead.

With the USA on the ascendency Argentina found themselves deep in their own end and under pressure. A lineout proved the perfect platform to attack and the rolling maul was driven over with replacement lock David Tameilau the one to come up with the ball. This time Cima was on target and it was a 15-3 gap with Argentina in danger of letting the game slip.

Captain Lautaro Bavaro asked his side to lift their game and they responded. The Eagles held out in the scrum but Mike Te’o batted down what would have been a scoring pass and the referee awarded the penalty try and a yellow card for Te’o as the half ended.

Two strange incidents marred the opening of the second act, as the assistant referee stepped into the game to put Tameileu in the bin for an apparent foot stomp, though the replay suggested that was not the case. The same official then interjected a minute later to send Sebastián Cancelliere as well, this time the call a complete mystery with the replay showing no foul play.

The pressure continued to come from Argentina, and with Tameilau off and Cam Dolan forced to step into the second row the scrum began to creak at last. From a 5 meter put-in the Eagles front row stood up and the referee had no option but to head under the posts for another penalty try.

With the teams back at full strength Miotti added a second penalty goal before another Argentina struck another blow. A sneaky break by Lautaro Bazán put Tomás de la Vega in the clear and the no8 showed his passing skills to finish the two-on-one and send Gabriel Ascárate in for another try.

Now 12 points adrift the Eagles needed some inspiration and they got it as numerous phases yielded space out wide for Dolan to exploit and he needed no second invitation, crossing in the corner for a vital score. The attack didn’t stop there and with Argentina on their heels it was Tameilau who broke through for his second from close range, dotting down under the posts. Cima’s conversion made the scores 27 apiece and with the bonus point from the try it was enough to celebrate an unlikely victory.



Tries – Penalty try (40’), Penalty try (53’), G. Ascárate (63’)
Cons – D. Miotti (64’)
Pens – D. Miotti 2 (7’, 56’)
Yellow cards – S. Cancelliere (45’)

USA 27
Tries – W. Magie (29’), D. Tameilau 2 (37’, 80’), C. Dolan (74’)
Cons – B. Cima 2 (38’, 80’)
Pens – B. Cima (15’)
Yellow cards – M. Te’o (40’), D. Tameilau (44’)



1 Francisco Ferronato (18 Eduardo Bello 60’), 2 Gaspar Baldunciel (16 Marcelo Brandi 46’), 3 Santiago Medrano (17 Nicolás Solveyra 69’), 4 Pedro Ortega (19 Franco Molina 66’), 5 Ignacio Larrague, 6 Francisco Gorrissen (20 Santiago Montagner 73’), 7 Lautaro Bavaro (capt.), 8 Tomás de la Vega, 9 Sebastián Cancelliere (21 Lautaro Bazán 57’), 10 Domingo Miotti, 11 Julián Domínguez, 12 Bruno Devoto, 13 Santiago Álvarez (22 Juan Cruz González 54’), 14 Germán Schulz, 15 Gabriel Ascárate (23 Franco Cuaranta 71’)

1 Anthony Purpura (17 Ben Tarr 57’), 2 James Hilterbrand (16 Peter Malcolm 46’), 3 Chris Baumann (18 Olive Kilifi 57’) , 4 Matt Jensen, 5 Siaosi Mahoni (20 David Tameilau 25’), 6 John Quill (19 Hanco Germishuys 64’), 7 Tony Lamborn, 8 Cam Dolan, 9 Shaun Davies (23 Spike Davis 71’), 10 Will Magie (22 Ryan Matyas 64’), 11 Nate Augspurger (capt.), 12 JP Eloff (21 Calvin Whiting 66’), 13 Bryce Campbell, 14 Mike Te’o, 15 Ben Cima



Referee: Joaquín Montes (URU)
Assistants: Santiago Altobelli (UAR) & José Covassi (UAR)

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Formally created in June 2015, this website’s goal is to increase media exposure of the Tier 2 rugby nations, and create a hub with a focus on the stories of rugby in the Americas – North, Central and South.

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  • nicosk3

    Superb !! Fantastic Eagles!

  • hoelbd

    Could it have been any more dramatic!

  • KiwiOogie

    Fantastic win by the Eagles. Superb effort to score four tries.

  • Colonel_Fabien

    As an Argie, and although I couldn’t watch the game (despite a subscription, the live streaming website wouldn’t let me), I am here to congratulate without reservations the USA Eagles and their fans for their victory over my team.  I am sure they will be savouring it with delight, good for them!
    I have watched maybe 2-3 games by both the USA Eagles and Canada during past Rugby World Cups while I was waiting for my matches to start, and I was agreably surprised by their commitment & quality, they both put up a good fight and so I told myself “these teams are coming up and in 10 years they’ll start scoring victories against the big guys”.
    It is a very healthy thing for rugby in general, and the Americas rugby in particular, that the Argie sides traditional supremacy can now be seriously challenged.  The more other teams like USA Eagles (and, hopefully, others) can challenge Argentina, the more Argentina will be obliged to improve for real.  If our traditional football rivals (Brazil, Uruguay, and Chile) could replicate the same for rugby, that would be very good and healthy for us too.

    I am happy that the efforts made by USA Rugby (training, skills, tactics, coaching, etc.) have paid off; I take them as a friendly & warning slap in the face of the UAR for it (UAR) to start being serious about the different shortcomings the Argentinian sides have been showing these last years, specially the lack of a supporting psychological team to teach the Argie players how to deal with the pressure & become much more disciplined.  It is a healthy kick-in-the-butt lesson and all I can hope for is the UAR will learn it.  Will it?
    Thank you very much USA Eagles for this stunning lesson, sincere congratulations again for your victory, and enjoy it to the full!

  • nicosk3

    Colonel_Fabien Be sure next year the Argentina team roster be stronger. UAR will not let twice things go this way. But their game vs Eagles will be in the US.

  • Doug Lyons

    I was concerned prior to this match that the Eagles might have been lulled into a sense of overconfidence after a couple of easy wins.
    Nothing could have been further than the truth – great performance with solid set piece play, well organized defensive play and creative attack.
    Mitchell clearly has his systems taking hold.

  • Colonel_Fabien

    nicosk3 Colonel_Fabien Ah, there’s a general feeling in Argie rugby that it suffices to suggest a good idea for the UAR to do the exact opposite.  They’re way too much strong-headed.  Anyway, more than the strength of the roster, it’s the game plan & skills that matter most.  Our players are pretty good, only their coaches haven’t succeeded in making them play together nor in honing their skills nor in devising intelligent game plans.  If the head can’t think, then the jerkiness of the body can be understood & get a little pardon.

  • TheStroBro

    Colonel_Fabien I think UAR didn’t think the level of play by the rest of the Unions in the ARC this year would be up to snuff to cap it’s side and went with a full B squad until this last match.  Although developmental, I think our B might have achieved victory against your B- side if we didn’t play with 13 for 8 minutes in the second half.  The only true test the rest of the way is to put your A side and not a pumitas side as it has been these past two years.

  • Colonel_Fabien

    TheStroBro Colonel_Fabien I will have to disagree with part of your remarks. The only +/- significant oppsotion to UAR in the past years has been USA & Canada, so I’m not going with your “the rest of the Unions in the ARC”.  Surely the UAR are not that stupid.
    Unfortunately, the huge (yuge) scores against Chile & Brazil do prove those teams are not up to snuff
    About your B side… Do you mean the USA Eagles in this ARC were not your A side?  You’re confusing me a bit here.  But yeah, in general terms, a USA B side victory against an Argie B side could be possible. But far from being 50%-50%.  I’d give your team a 20% chance.  Let’s factor in some stupidity from the Argies (either from the players or the coach) and you could be btw 30% & 40%, depending on how stupid my team could be (not guaranteed).  Now probably you & I are talking different teams here: for me, Argentina A are the Pumas, Argentina B are the Jaguares, and Argentina C are the Argentina XV (whom are supposed to feed the Jaguares and Pumas as medical jokers or when the boys will be a bit older & more experienced).  I’ve got the impression that what you mean is this particular Argentina XV that faced the Eagles was the B version of my C? In other words, a C2? 
    If as a Texan you can read some Spanish, please go have a read at the Argie newspapers and rugby websites.  There’s talk about the Argentina XV coaches just giving each player some game time and playing with the roster without having a clear idea other than just allow each player to have a go at some game.  Everybody is pissed off & angry.
    If by our A side you mean the Pumas against the Eagles, well, that’d be a nice game to watch but no offense, I don’t see the Eagles winning. That time will surely come in the future, as the Eagles keep on training harder and the Pumas keep on not preparing their matches better than they have been doing as of late. The Pumas will also beat the All Blacks at some point in the future.

  • TheStroBro


    This was not our true A side.  The Argentina XVs, the Pumitas, are your official B side.  Although you had a few capped players on the squad for this match.  I called it a B+ because of the amount of players that we had whom had been recalled by their premiership clubs in Aviva and Pro12 or were never made available.  We also lost Clever last week.  So our B+ catching a draw, against you was important.  However, I watched the film today and I have no idea what that ref was seeing when he handed out the first penalty try and card against Mikey Te’O, second penalty try I felt was questionable but not near as bad.

  • Doug Lyons

    T’eo reached up to stop the last pass, which would have gone to hand for a try. Perfectly legit call.
    2nd PT was as a result of several penalties in the red zone. Again, legit call.
    What WAS strange was the “stamping” call on Tamileau (pardon my spelling) as well as the yellow against the Argentinian # 9. I think the second yellow was to make up for a bad first call.
    This was clearly NOT the US first choice XV but neither was the Argentinian side. Personally I think that the US should field a “Falcons” side and not award caps but that’s just me.
    At any rate it was a terrific match and an impressive fight back by the US to grab the draw. Putting over four tries – all of which were well earned (the driving maul was amazingly efficient) was a great accomplishment.
    The Eagles are building real depth – particularly in the forwards (anybody who saw Joe Taufetee on Sunday with Worcester can see we have a real up and comer there).

  • Colonel_Fabien

    Doug Lyons TheStroBro 
    Will check the video up on YT.
    Sure, a great victory for the US, no question.  I just leartn trough the rugby “forum” in La Nación (a newspaper) our Pumas 7s lost against you guys 21-19 despite our initially beating you 0-19. Congratulations on that as well.  I think we’re gonna be short on aspirins at the UAR…

  • TheStroBro

    Doug Lyons I disagree with that.  He didn’t bat down the ball.  And I don’t think they would have earned a sure try.  But again, that is just me.

  • TheStroBro It was a textbook yellow card and penalty try. Te’o was never going to catch that ball and there were three attackers outside him. If it went to hand it was a certain try. 100% correct call.

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