ARC Rugby is proving testing and not just for the players!
A poor result for USA saw them go down to rivals Canada after a disappointing display infront of 2200 spectators in the second round of the Tournament. Just as the ARC Round 1 Argentina 39 – USA 3 scoreline didn’t tell the whole story neither did the final result against Canada.
We just didn’t turn up for this game and that is frustrating as the Coaches know the players are capable of so much more. The performance on Friday against the Jaguars was arguably better so why did they not perform against the hosts?
All the players on the pitch were 24 years old or less so you’d expect them to be able to run all day. Canada did most of the running and USA the defending, camped out in their own 22 for long spells. Backs put their tackles in just like the Forwards and some tries were saved through sheer will.
If you look at the team lists 8 of the starting 15 for Canada play for the same Domestic team. The time in camp allowed Coach Tolkin to introduce his way of playing to this young group of players but this was only the second time they took this on the pitch as a team.
The lineout was an area where playing time together showed as the Canadians took their throws and quickly got the ball to their backs and running at the USA. Some aspects improved from the first game, others didn’t. New players came in and we tried different combinations and individuals in different positions as we will for the final game.
Notably there were a few periods when USA strung together the phases but frustratingly these tended to be at the end of the halves and did not result in points on the board.
Lack of motivation wasn’t an issue, both teams were up for it. USA went into this game off a poor result and wanting to prove their abilities against more equal opponents. Canada infront of a capacity home crowd and with a chance to play for the overall title should they win, came in off a victory with tries under their belt.
I’ve played in matches where history follows you onto the pitch – Leinster v Munster, Leicester v Northampton or Ireland V England spring to mind as matches where its more than just winning, its about bragging rights and undoing previous wrongs. USA v Canada is just such a rivalry. That probably explains when at times events on the pitch threatened to boil over but lack of discipline loses you games. A red and yellow resulted from such moments.
Level Playing Field
For the USA the ARC is about finding new talent so in essence you are seeing a group of individuals on the pitch. Rugby isn’t a game for solo stars and its not lack of will or effort that is at fault for the results or because players are only playing for individual glory.
What is clear is that these are a talented group of young, inexperienced players trying to bond as a team at a higher level of the game than many have played before whilst in the international spotlight. That’s a tough ask. As I highlighted in the introduction to the ARC Tournament the teams they are facing are established domestic and international units so its not exactly a fair comparison.That being said improvement is required across the board. Its my job as coach to give them the skills and the confidence to face whatever comes at them on the field using my experience as a player and from the teams I’ve worked with.
Not back to the drawing board for us but back to the practice pitch. One last shot at reaching their rugby potential for this year’s USA Select at the Americas Rugby Championship. Bring on Uruguay.
ARC Round 2: Canada 23 – USA 3
1. CREAG JOHNSTON, Ontario Blues
2. RAY BARKWILL, Ontario Blues
3. DOUG WOOLDRIDGE, Ontario Blues
4. AARON FLAGG, Pacific Tyee
5. JON PHELAN, The Rock
6. TONI WODZICKI, The Rock
7. ALISTAIR CLARK, Ontario Blues
8. TYLER ARDRON, Ontario Blues (C)
9. KYLE ARMSTRONG, Ontario Blues
10. LIAM UNDERWOOD, Ontario Blues
11. CLAYTON MEERES, Pacific Tyee
12. PATRICK PARFREY, The Rock
13. NICK BLEVINS, Prairie Wolfpack
14. JORDAN WILSON-ROSS, Ontario Blues
15. CONNOR BRAID, Pacific Tyee16. OWEN PARFREY, The Rock
17. HUBERT BUYDENS, Praire Wolfpack
18. JACOB RUMBALL, Ontario Blues
19. CHRIS LONG, Prairie Wolfpack
20. SEB PEARSON, Ontario Blues
21. ZAC COUGHLIN, The Rock
22. PAT KAY, Pacific Tyee
23. JOSH HART, Prairie Wolfpack
1. NICHOLAS WALLACE St. Mary’s
2. STAN MOAALII Glendale Raptors
3. TONY PURPURA BostonRugby
4. NICHOLAS CIVETTA NYAC
5. GRAHAM HARRIMAN Chicago Griffins
6. TAYLOR MOKATE USA 7s Team
7. JOHN QUILL Boston Rugby
8. CAM DOLAN (C) Life University
9. SHAUN DAVIES BYU
10. GEAROID MCDONALD Old Belvedere
11. CHRIS CHAPMAN NYAC
12. JACK TRACY Belmont Shore
13. DEAN GERICKE Arkansas State University
14. MILES CRAIGWELL Old Puget Sound Beach
15. ZACHARY PANGELINAN OMBAC16. ZACHARY FENOGLIO Glendale Raptors
17. TIM PAULSEN Chicago Griffins
18. NOT SELECTED
19. KRIS HEADLEE Life University
20. ERIC DUECHLE Belmont Shore
21. BENNY MATEIALONA Life University
22. CASEY CLARK Unattached
23. JOE COWLEY Life University
Tries: Penalty Try, Jordan Wilson-Ross, Clayton Meeres
Penalty Goals: Connor Braid x2
|USA Selects 3|
MATCH OFFICIALSReferee: Juan Sylvestre (Argentina)
Assistant Referee: Joaquin Montes (Uruguay)
Assistant Referee: Chris Assmus (Canada)
#4 Match Official: Karen Lozada (Canada)
#5 Match Official: Kai Taylor (Canada)
#6 Match Official/Scorer: George Van (Canada)
Match Report from ARC website
Team Canada earned the right to face two-time defending champion Argentina Tuesday night at Langford’s Westhill Stadium, defeating the US 23-3 while Argentina took the measure of Uruguay 21-10.
Canada opened up their tournament with a win over Uruguay, while Argentina downed the US. The US and Uruguay will meet in Saturday’s opening game at 5:30pm, while the championship game goes at 7:30pm and is almost assured to be a sell out crowd. The Canadian team was lead by kicker, Connor Braid with two penalties and one conversion. It was the fourth and fifth penalty goals of the tournament for Braid. Canadian tries scored by Jordan Wilson-Ross and Clayton Meeres. Canada’s other points came late in the first half on a penalty try. The US lone points came early in the first half, when a forty yard penalty goal by Zachary Pangelinan.
Canadian Coach Kieran Crawley was disappointed in his team’s first half play, saying “We simply turned the ball over to much, unforced errors and they hurt us.” About the championship game with Argentina he said “We’re excited to be in this position, we’ll take a look at things. It’s basically a one game winner take all and we hope its us.”
Canada had the game won at halftime 13-3 due to penalty goals, by Braid and a seldom awarded penalty try when the referee ruled the US scrum purposely collapsed on the goal line, Braid kicked the ensuing conversion.
As the crowd of 2,273 looked on, Wilson-Ross took a pass from captain Tyler Ardron for Canada’s first try, 20 min into the second half. And then Wilson-Ross 3 minutes later passed to Clayton Meeres for their second try.
Two yellow cards were handed out in the second half: Meeres got 10 minutes for rough tackling a man in the air, and the US’s John Quill got his yellow for pulling the hair of Wilson Ross and pulling him to the ground.
The Americas Rugby Championship Schedule
- Argentina 39 – 3 USA
- Uruguay 10-28 Canada
Tue 16 Oct – ARC Round 2
- Argentina 21-10 Uruguay
- USA 3-23 Canada
Sat 20 Oct – ARC Round 3
- 5:30PM PST USA v Uruguay
- 7:30PM PST Argentina v Canada
Gavin Hickie, USA Rugby U20s Forwards Coach, is a former Ireland A & 7s, Leinster and Leicester rugby player now based in California and taking rugby to the USA. He writes for RugbyMag.com and other publications when not coaching for Belmont Shore and blogging on lineoutcoach.com