Sunday, July 28, 2019

USA v Canada: PNC Round 1

USA Eagles v Canada
Lineout won, not taken

Warm and breezy with a shelf of cloud cover providing welcoming shade for the packed house down the Kettle at Infinity as Pacific Nations Cup kicked off for the North American rivals and every player primed for performance in order to catch a ride to Japan in September.
Canada up fast as a grubber skittering through space angled to touch well within the Eagles 22 had the Americans on the rear leg momentarily. Visitors with the lineout take, but turnover exacted and subsequent clearance by USA 10, AJ MacGinty, and the action moved downfield and out of danger.
USA with the scrum-put 15 meters from the Canadian line. Pick-and-goes alternating with near channel smashes resulted in a Canada offsides penalty nine meters from goal, kick for touch and a USA lineout five meters out. The toss was taken and a massive maul into the Promised Land saw number two, Dylan Fawsitt, drop to touch down for a MacGinty conversion and 7-nil for USA in the 12th minute.
Homeside extended their advantage on attack at the Canadian 22 with a chip ahead striking the corner flag to carom into play in-goal for cover by USA captain and fast flyer, Blaine Scully, for five-made-seven on a sure strike from touch by MacGinty and 14-0 after ’24.
A multiple-phase movement by the travelers into US territory came to naught when a kick ahead was covered and returned.
Breakaways Malon Al-Jiboori and John Quill displaying estimable work-rate with throttling stoppages resulting in turnover ball and movement forward.
MacGinty struck for three from inside the 10 meter line in the vicinity of the interior hashmark and 17-0 after 36 minutes.
With USA on attack along far touch, a jarring tackle made the pill pop for grabs and Canada flyer, Conor Trainor, did the snatch and raced for 75 meters for a touch down disallowed after review by 2019 Rugby World Cup referee, Andrew Brace, as the ball had gone forward off a Canadian player into Trainor’s grasp.
The US standoff got another sticksplitter at time in the half and it was lads to lockers for hydration and instruction and 20 and 0 the tallies at Brace’s halftime signal.
USA with more success in transition than Canada and homeboys were absolutely comprehensive at tackle with Al-Jiboori and Quill leading the way. Consistency of effort, a fortuitous bounce and MacGinty’s four-from-four perfection the difference in this one thus far.
Canada hauled aboard early in the second stanza as backrow lock, Tyler Ardron, intercepted an errant communication and with US three-quartersline drawn up, Ardron had clear sailing and showed an exceptional gallop for 70 meters to outpace the chase to goal for a try converted by flyhalf Peter Nelson, and 20-7 in the 44th and one might have thought, “hmmn...”
But former Glendale Raptors engine, Ben Landry, blasted through the rear-legged defensive alignment to try for MacGinty’s additional deuce and it was 30-7 for US just past the hour mark.
An attempt at theft in the backline enabled relief flyer, Gannon Moore, the highway to goal and that speedster closed for a handful and the bonus point: 35-7 in the 66th .
Canada were experiencing issue in their backthree kick-coverage and when they chose to launch an aerial, those lofts outdistanced the cover, ensuring US retaliation.
USA got another as replacement front row, Kapeli Pifeleti dropped from the moving maul, touching down for a fiver and 40-7 right then in the 71st.
USA scored another converted, through replacement halfback, Ruben De Haas, while Canada got a brace late - one a penalty try, t’other from flyer, Conor Trainor - for a final record of 47-19 at Brace’s last blast.
                USA       - Try: Fawsitt, Scully, Landry, Moore, Pifeleti, De Haas; Con: MacGinty (3), Hooley; Pen: MacGinty (3);
                Canada - Try: Ardron, PT, Trainor; Con: Nelson, PT
Match Officials: Andrew Brace (Field Magistrate); Ludovic Cayre, Ben Whitehouse (RAs); David Grashoff (TMO)

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