United States Eagles rally for 59-50 overall win over Canada in Rugby World Cup qualifying
GLENDALE, COLO. – Flanker Hanco Germishuys scored three tries on Saturday with the United States
GLENDALE, COLO. – Flanker Hanco Germishuys scored three tries on Saturday as the United States Eagles made up for a 13-point series deficit for a convincing 38-16 win on the night and a 59-50 overall win over Canada in their Rugby Two-man World Cup qualifying match.
After a 34-21 loss last weekend in St. John’s, the United States posted four tries in the first half for a 25-9 lead and a three-point cumulative advantage. Canada, ranked 21st in the world, paid for its mistakes, wasted chances and was out for most of the night as its set pieces faltered at Infinity Park Stadium.
The Americans, ranked 17th, scored 13 more points in the second half. Canada added a penalty try in the dying seconds after besieging the US try line.
The Eagles will face No.16 Uruguay on October 2 and 9 to determine who will place in France 2023 Pool A as Americas 1 with New Zealand No.2, France No.5, Italy. n ° 14 and Africa 1.
The Canadians can still qualify but face a more complicated course. They will now meet with No.28 Chile to determine who will advance to the Americas 2 playoffs against the loser of the Americas 1 series.
The winner of the Americas 2 playoffs enters Pool D of the World Cup alongside No.3 England, No.6 Argentina, No.10 Japan and No.13 Samoa. The loser of the Americas 2 playoffs has one more chance of qualifying through a draft tournament.
Peter Nelson kicked two penalties for Canada. Cooper Coats added a penalty.
“I think it’s down to our individual mistakes to be honest,” said Canadian captain Lucas Rumball. “It’s really disappointing and frustrating.
“If you look through the squad, I bet every individual dropped the ball or made a mistake. It’s hard to win games internationally when you do that.”
Christian Dyer, Ruben de Haas and Joe Taufete’e also scored tries for the USAJ. MacGinty pulled off a conversion and a penalty. De Haas added a drop goal.
The American victory ended a seven-game losing streak.
In St. John’s, the Eagles led 14-10 last week after a first half that saw Canadians Matt Heaton and Conor Keys fall on the brink. Canada scored 24 straight points in the second half before US debutant Tavite Lopeti scored a converted try under the posts in the 82nd minute to reduce the lead to 34-21.
“We were humbled,” MacGinty, opening half and US captain, said of the opening game.
“The workouts (this week) were so much better. We were more precise, we were more competitive in everything we did.”
Back at home, the United States was in a hurry from the opening kickoff with MacGinty cutting Canada’s lead overall with a fourth-minute penalty.
Canada equalized at 3-3 three minutes later via a Coats long distance penalty after an American was penalized for not rolling into the ruck. Nelson made it 6-3 for Canada with a 10th-minute chip shot penalty after the United States, sunk deep into their own camp after a successful 50-22 kick, were signaled for offside.
American flanker Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz was sent to sin-bin in the 11th minute for an illegal ruck cleanup.
Despite being a downed man, the United States took an 8-6 lead on a Germishuys try in the 16th minute after a maul behind the wheel of a lineout.
Dyer dove for another American try and a 13-6 lead in the 22nd minute after Nelson missed a high pressure kick.
The Canadian mistakes – Nelson putting the kickoff out of bounds and the United States winning a scrum penalty – seemed to set the Americans up for another score. But Taufete’e was stripped of the ball at the goal line.
The Americans continued to attack and Germishuys, carrying two Canadians with him, crashed over the line in the 28th minute for an 18-6 lead.
Nelson scored 18-9 with a 32nd-minute penalty after his American counterpart was flagged offside. The United States continued to come in and Germishuys again went from a maul behind the wheel for a converted try and a 25-9 lead at the break.
The wind picked up in the second half, making life difficult for both teams.
De Haas added a long-distance drop goal, following a retirement at the Canadian goal line, in the 49th minute to increase the lead to 28-9. The US scrum-half went 33-9 two minutes later, scoring a solo try after charging a Ross Braude kick and running for the try line.
The US attack continued in the rain with the US melee in control. A Canadian penalty deep in their own camp led to an American roster and Taufete’e scored from the back of another rolling maul to extend the lead to 28-29.
Coach Kingsley Jones named an unchanged starting lineup, a first for Canada in 153 tries dating back to 2000. The only change was among the substitutes where veteran Kyle Baillie replaced Mason Flesch.
Canada’s Day 23 featured 10 members of the Toronto Arrows, including six in the starting 15.
The United States made seven changes.
MacGinty, who plays in England for the Sale Sharks, started after leaving the bench last week after arriving late due to travel complications. The United States has also opened a whole new frontline with foreign pros David Ainu’u (Toulouse, France), Kapeli Pifeleti (Saracens, England) and Taufete’e (Lyon, France) leaving the bench.
Ryan Matyas, Marcel Brache and Lopeti entered the back line.
Saturday’s game was played at altitude and in hot conditions. Kick-off at 7 p.m. local time was 30 C.
The Canadians have never missed a World Cup, even though they had to qualify the hard way last time around, winning a four-team draft. The Americans only failed to qualify once, in 1995.
Due to schedule disruptions linked to the pandemic, the two teams had only played twice since the World Cup in Japan, with the matches coming up in the July test window.
Canada lost 68-12 to Wales, number 9 and 70-14 to England in their only game since losing 66-7 to eventual World Cup champion Africa South, October 8, 2019. The Americans were beaten 43-29 by England and 71-10 by No. 4 Ireland in July.
At halftime on Saturday, there was a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The Eagles also wore a commemorative logo on their jerseys. Before the game, there was a minute of silence in memory of the American soldiers killed in a recent suicide bombing in Kabul.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on September 11, 2021
The Canadian Press