Up and Under is a weekly feature on Americas Rugby News which reviews the best and worst from games involving the Americas teams over the previous week.
The Argentina XV impressed against Toulon, winning 45-24 at La Catedral on Saturday. The official national ‘A’ side proved to be significantly better than earlier in the year in both the Americas Rugby Championship and Nations Cup. The Argentina XV outscored Toulon by six tries to four. Crossing for two tries each were Bautista Delguy, Rodrigo Etchart, and Juan Cruz González. The fly half would also convert all six tries and add a penalty for a personal haul of 25 points. The teams are to play game two of the two-match series on Friday August 04. It will take place at Tucumán Lawn Tennis club.
USA South Panthers
The USA South Panthers are the 2017 Rugby Americas North (RAN) winners. The team’s 23-19 away win over Guyana this afternoon sealed the RAN Championship. Played in muddy conditions, scoring was not always so simple. It took 19 minutes for the first points to be scored. The Panthers dominated there first half, leading 13-0. Hein Erasmus and Wayne Chermely both scored tries. Guyana won the second half by three tries to one to narrowly miss out on what would have been a RAN title. With the RAN Championship having been completed for 2017 attention in the region now turn to Rugby 7’s.
The USA Islanders have named a star-studded roster to face Saracens. The teams are to meet in an important fixture for both parties and also for Bermuda. The Island nation will play host to the match on August 10. Saracens are using the occasion as preseason training. The club had a heavy season in 2016-2017. Many were involved in June internationals in both 2016 and 2017 which has left many of the European Champions’ players requiring down time. There is to be familiarity involved. Saracens is home to Titi Lamositele, starting prop for the USA Eagles. The Bellingham, Washington native also happens to be an Islander. His family are Samoan. Former USA captain Chris Wyles is also at Saracens. Both he and Lamositele are to be up against a number of Eagles teammates. Among those named to travel to Bermuda are Langilangi Haupeakui, Ollie Kilifi, Matai Leuta, Shalom Suniula and Tai Tuisamoa.
Colombia’s first rugby player to play in France is Andrés Zafra. The 21-year-old joined Lyon from Colombia when he was 19 and is now preparing for the upcoming Top 14 season. Zafra played for Lyon on Friday night. The club faced Grenoble in a pre-season friendly match, running out 26-19 winners. The Colombian featured as a replacement and came on to score a try. Also involved in the match was Piero Dominguez. The 22-year-old son of former Puma Diego Dominguez earned his first start, doing so at fly half. Piero Dominguez is expected to follow in the footsteps of his father by playing international rugby for Italy.
Pumitas and Teritos
Argentina and Uruguay won their respective u20’s matches this weekend in South America. Played at Old Christians Club in Montevideo, Argentina faced Chile in match one while Uruguay took-on Brazil in match two. Argentina won 29-8 while Uruguay did so by 43-7. The four teams are to return to the field on Tuesday August 01. Chile will face Brazil in the Bronze Final at 2pm. Uruguay will then have home advantage against Argentina at 3:30pm in the final.
Hindú’s Missed Red Card
Hindú are the Argentine National club champions. The Don Torquato club won the Nacional de Clubes final this afternoon, defeating Tala 20-10. Argentina XV scrum half Sebastián Cancelliere scored the game’s opening try, doing so playing right wing. Tala got their one and only try from Juan Cruz Cuyaube’s. Before Tala crossed both Mariano de la Fuente and Bautista Ezcurra were yellow carded. The former player was highly fortunate not to have been Red carded. He entered with his shoulder making contact with an opponents shoulder and head. It was not similar to Sonny Bill Williams’ recent red card and also comparable to Ramiro Herrera and Tomás Lavanini both being sent off in a Super Rugby match against the Kings in 2016.
Japan in Rugby Championship
New Zealand is against Japan joining the Rugby Championship. Weeks after World Rugby Vice Chairman, Agustín Pichot requested Japan’s inclusion, New Zealand Rugby’s chief executive Steve Tew has said no. Tew firmly believes that in order to join the Rugby Championship Japan must focus on turning the Sunwolves into a much stronger Super Rugby team. If and when this is achieved then playing in the Rugby Championship can be discussed. Japan has a win over South Africa at a Rugby World Cup but Tew wants more. The line of thinking is expressed further by underlining that there are others including the USA, Canada, Fiji to name a few. Where to expand to? Tew is happy with the All Blacks schedules at present.
Canadian sevens star Adam Zaruba has signed a three-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League. While the contract is subject to the Capilano export making the cut in September, it comes as bittersweet news to a team who are potentially losing their biggest player. At 1.96m (6’5″) and 118kg (260lbs), it’s the explosive athleticism of Zaruba that makes him an irreplaceable asset to the Canadian team. He goes with Damian McGrath’s best wishes though the coach will have his work cut out to find a player with similar attributes.
Just days before facing Toulon Francisco Ferronato replaced Nicolás Solveyra in the Argentina XV roster. Solveyra had been named in the roster for the match only to be ruled out through ill discipline. The CUBA prop was red carded in the URBA Top 12 playing during the prior weekend. He was sent off playing against Atlético del Rosario and for this reason hase been replaced. As such Solveyra missed out on a prime opportunity at playing elite level rugby. Not only that but in defeating French giants Toulon.