It’s over! This weekend we will be distracted by the Vancouver 7s but then the sadness will creep in that it will be another 11 months until the Americas Rugby Championship returns. Of course there’s still plenty to process and the debrief has only just begun, and we still have our final weekly selection to get to. Look for our 2017 ARC Dream Team to be named on Monday.
1 – Mateo Sanguinetti (Uruguay) Very active in the loose and beat his opposite in the scrum. Had a couple half breaks, his nifty pass behind Rodolfo Garese put Nicolas Freitas into a gap, and he barged ahead from a maul to help Diego Magno over for a score.
2 – Yan Rosetti (Brazil) Eric Howard put in a decent shift for Canada but was pulled with plenty of time still on the clock. Rosetti played all 80 minutes for Brazil and was instrumental in their famous victory. Capped off his strong game with a searing run down the left flank that ended with the winning try for Lucas Tranquez.
3 – Chris Baumann (USA) His best game of the tournament. Numerous carries kept the Eagles momentum and his strip set Nate Augspurger away and led to the Will Magie try. Can’t really be faulted for the pushover penalty try with only seven in against eight.
4 – Nikola Bursic (Chile) A very good match in the middle of the Condores scrum along with second row mate Mario Mayol. Might have set a record for most metres gained by a lock forward with the amount of line breaks he had. Rewarded with a try – from Mayol’s pass – to take home a consolation try.
5 – David Tameilau (USA) The definition of an impact player. Replaced in injured Siaosi Mahoni after 25 minutes and left no player in doubt of his presence. Even the sideline official thought he was stomping when he was merely standing tall. His first try was a team effort at the back of a maul, his second the last of several storming runs.
6 – Rodolfo Garese (Uruguay) Recalled to the Teros lineup and produced his best international performance. The preferred target at the back of the lineout, he also got stuck into the dirty work, something of an alien task for a converted back. His spin pass out of the tackle to set Freitas free showed his passing skill.
7 – Tony Lamborn (USA) Another wonderful all-action display from the Hawke’s Bay star. Denied Marcelo Brandi a certain score on the tryline and won a key turnover with a choke tackle to snuff out an Argentine attack. Linked well and gave the final pass for Cam Dolan to touch down in the corner.
8 – Tomás de la Vega (Argentina XV) Close call over his opposite Cam Dolan. The best Argentine forward on the day was complete nuisance at the breakdown, winning two turnovers and slowing the ball down repeatedly. Controlled the ball at the base of the scrum and his line break and offload put Gabriel Ascárate in under the posts.
9 – Gordon McRorie (Canada) A difficult choice in bizarre circumstances. Sebastián Cancelliere was having another fine game for Argentina but an absurd yellow card given by the same official who robbed Tameilau of 10 minutes ended his day. McRorie was not as impressive in general play but did score a crucial try and his goal kicking kept Canada in the game. Even landed a drop goal after switching to flyhalf to end with 18 points in the tough loss to Brazil.
10 – Germán Albanell (Uruguay) Excellent match from the diminutive playmaker. Tackled like a man twice his size and went five-for-five in kicks at goal. Connected twice with Leandro Leivas for tries, once with a grubber along the deck and once with a picture-perfect pass to hit his winger in stride.
11 – Nicolás Freitas (Uruguay) A nod to Nate Augspurger who had a another good shift for the Eagles. Freitas was immense for the Teros on both sides of the ball. Several line breaks including two sensational finishes for tries. Just as good was his defense. His tackling was on point and he was like an extra flanker at the breakdown, winning two turnovers and nearly grabbing more.
12 – Moisés Duque (Brazil) The man of the hour once again. Passing, kicking, tackling, running. Ran a perfect inside support line to score a try in the corner. His pass freed up Rosetti on the outside to create the decisive score. Stepped up to kick the winning conversion with completely calmness. Superb.
13 – Bryce Campbell (USA) An outstanding match in all facets. Completely committed to everything whether tackling, running, or rucking. Strong leg drive put him through several tackles and a huge tackle on Gaspar Baldunciel caused a turnover.
14 – Leandro Leivas (Uruguay) Another enjoying himself in the wide spaces for Los Teros. Outstripped Ricardo Sifri to dive on the ball for his first try. Took the corner on Tomás Ianidzewski and showed Mauricio Urrutia a clean pair of heels for his second. Covered back and dove on a dangerous kick ahead from Rodrigo Fernández, bounced back up and blasted through three defenders on a remarkable bit of defensive work.
15 – Daniel Sancery (Brazil) Finally got his hands on the ball and showed what he can do. Seemed to glide past defenders at will. Sliced through and turned on the afterburners to score himself, and did it again with his offload putting Duque away. A joy to watch.