Blaine Scully and USA Eagles outlast Argentina XV
SACRAMENTO, CA - JUNE 25: Blaine Scully of the United States evades a tackle by Vasily Artemyev of Russia in the second half of the match at Bonney Field on June 25, 2016 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

There has been one constant in the Americas Rugby Championship over the past two years. Argentina XV have been undefeated in the tournament. Team USA had drawn against the Argentina A team in both previous matches. To change that, the Eagles; led well by Cardiff Blues’ Blaine Scully have finally broken that streak.

Eagles get off to a poor start: USAvARG

The first half of the match was very poor by the USA Eagles standards. Sloppy play resulted in a plethora of penalties and handling errors. These penalties were punctuated by two yellow cards against the Eagles in the first half.

These yellow cards resulted in all of Argentina’s points for the match. However, Argentina was not exempt for the penalty bug themselves, offering a yellow card of their own for a dangerous hit by Juan Cappiello. The high penalty count by both teams allowed the Eagles to stay close, with a valuable penalty kick by Will Magie.

Cam Dolan of San Diego Legion received the second yellow for the Eagles right before the end of the half, with Argentina deep in the Eagles territory. From there, Argentina was able to set the scrum and off that good set piece ball, Santiago Montagner took the ball into the endzone for the first try of the day.

USA Captain Blaine Scully leads Eagles to their first win over Argentina XV

Gary Gold must have had a lot to say to the Eagles during half time break, because they came out fighting hard and fast in the second half. Three minutes in, Will Magie slotted his second kick of the day to bring the Eagles within four points.

Argentina made a number of trips into the Eagles 22 meter area, but the stout USA defense held strong throughout. Eventually, the home team moved possession up-field following a scrum, and Tony Lamborn made his way across the try line to give the Eagles their first lead of the match.

Newcomer Will Hooley would control the rest of the points in the match, with his two penalty kicks to put his side up. A tighter second half, the match came down to the last moment with the Eagles up by seven points.

Argentina spent six minutes after full time inside the United States’ 22m, working phase after phase. They finally got bodies across the line, but dropped the ball before it could be placed down for the try. A simple error, giving the Eagles their first win over Argentina XV and the momentum .

USA Victorious in opening match of 2018 ARC series

Men like Blaine Scully and Tony Lamborn can be proud of how they played. Coach Gary Gold will be delighted to begin his term with a win. With this result secured, the US team can look to carry that momentum into the next two games.

  • Feb 10 – USA v Canada, Papa Murphys Park, Sacramento. CA

  • Feb 17 – USA v Chile, Titan Stadium, Fullerton. CA

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