The USA scored 15 unanswered points in a dominant second half to claim a 29-10 win over Canada at Papa Murphy’s Park in breezy Sacramento on Saturday. A shaky first half saw just one score separating the two sides but it was the Eagles who regrouped and controlled possession in the second period despite playing into the wind.
Nate Augspurger caught the blindside defense unawares to sneak around the corner for an early USA try. The sideline conversion was expertly slotted by Will Magie and Canada were immediately on the back foot. Not long after a flowing attacking move ended with Ryan Matyas cutting back against the grain to slice through under the posts for another seven-pointer.
Just when it looked as though the game would get away from them Canada found another gear. Finding themselves deep in Eagles territory they showed patience, and eventually the defense was pulled in enough for quick hands from DTH van der Merwe to find Patrick Parfrey alone on the left flank to dive into the corner. Brock Staller matched Magie’s earlier heroics from the tee to make it 14-7, a score that would carry through to the break.
Canada struck first in the second half. Staller put a penalty goal over from 40 meters to close the gap to four. Unfortunately for the visitors their day would effectively end there. The wind advantage never materialised, instead causing problems with several kicks drifting too long.
Back on the front foot the USA finally broke through via Hanco Germishuys, the in-form flanker smashing his way through three defenders to find pay dirt. Magie made it three-from-three and the Eagles were flying. In came fresh legs and Will Hooley slotted his first career test points to stretch the lead.
A Cam Dolan tackle put a Canadian on his backside and sparked a scuffle with Nick Blevins. The assistant referee suggested that Blevins had thrown a punch, and the replays seemed to corroborate his report but the match officials instead deemed Dolan the primary culprit and sent him to the bin with the tackle deemed unsafe.
With Dolan off the pitch it was instead the USA who took the offensive. Space opened on the left side and Matyas showed a clean pair of heels to secure the bonus point. Hooley couldn’t connect on the extras but the result was no longer in doubt.
The result stretches the USA’s unbeaten run over Canada to seven tests dating back to August 2013. It also propels the Eagles into first overall on the Americas Rugby Championship table after two rounds, pushing them just ahead of Uruguay on points differential.
Canada return home to Westhills Stadium in search of answers against Brazil next weekend. The Eagles will head south but only as far as Fullerton where they host Chile at Titan Stadium.
Tries – N. Augspurger (7’), R. Matyas 2 (16’, 74’), H. Germishuys (53’)
Cons – W. Magie 3/3 (8’, 17’, 54’), W. Hooley 0/1
Pens – W. Hooley 1/2 (63’)
Yellow cards – C. Dolan (66’)
Tries – P. Parfrey (23’)
Cons – B. Staller 1/1 (24’)
Pens – B. Staller 1/2 (43’)
1 Titi Lamositele (17 Huluholo Mo’ungaloa 75’), 2 Joe Taufete’e (16 James Hilterbrand 59’), 3 Dino Waldren (18 Angus MacLellan 75’), 4 Nate Brakeley (19 Ben Landry 48’), 5 Nick Civetta, 6 Hanco Germishuys (20 Andrew Durutalo 54’), 7 Tony Lamborn, 8 Cam Dolan, 9 Nate Augspurger (21 Shaun Davies 54’), 10 Will Magie (22 Will Hooley 54’), 11 Ryan Matyas (23 Josh Whippy 78’), 12 Bryce Campbell, 13 Dylan Audsley, 14 Blaine Scully (capt.), 15 Mike Te’o
1 Djustice Sears-Duru (17 Anthony Luca 64’), 2 Ray Barkwill, 3 Jake Ilnicki (18 Cole Keith 64’), 4 Josh Larsen, 5 Kyle Baillie (19 Conor Keys 68’), 6 Lucas Rumball, 7 Matt Heaton (20 Dustin Dobravsky 71’), 8 Luke Campbell, 9 Phil Mack (capt.) (21 Gordon McRorie 71’), 10 Shane O’Leary (22 Robbie Povey 71’), 11 DTH van der Merwe, 12 Nick Blevins, 13 Guiseppe du Toit, 14 Brock Staller, 15 Patrick Parfrey (23 Cole Davis 71′)
Not used: 16 Martial Lagain
Referee: Francisco González (URU)
Assistants: Derek Summers (USAR) & Phil Akroyd (USAR)
TMO: Marc Nelson (USAR)