by Jason Graves
In week one of Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) the expected winners won but not without a fight. Argentina had to fight the elements as well as Canada, the Eagles fought themselves, and Brazil fought three decades of history.
Canada v Argentina: Canada couldn't utilize home field advantage which they had in more ways than one as they hosted the Southern Hemisphere squad in the snow. It was an early slogfest but as expected Los Pumas' skill came through as the snow turned to rain.
As Argentina slowly pulled away, the Canadians were never really in the match after halftime despite the low score. Segundo Tucultes' try, however, was the knife in the heart with less than 20 minutes remaining.
Final: 6 – 20 Argentina
Brazil v Chile: In vastly different conditions Chile struck first in an error plagued first half. Both sides started sloppy, unable to develop phases, and control the ball. Both squads liked to show off their soccer skills by dropping ball to boot but execution was often lacking. Scrums dominated much of the match eating away at the clock.
Both sides showed flashes of skill, especially Brazil's kicking game. If Os Tupis can ever master their blend of flash and foot Brazil could become quite a formidable attacking side but there is much work to be done as Brazil beat Chile for the first time since 1981.
Final: 17 – 3 Brazil
USA v Uruguay: Uruguay nearly pulled off the upset…again. This was a frustrating win for the Eagles who for every reason conceivable should have dominated this match but it was Uruguay who maintained a lead most of the contest.
Uruguay held a 23 – 19 lead as time ticked down and the US continued to flounder. Then came a moment of sublime attack culminating with a brilliant Will Magie to Blain Scully kick-pass in the corner of the try zone. Was is Montana to Clark? No but it was glorious none the less.
Final: 29 – 23 United States
USA v Brazil
Argentina v Uruguay
Canada v Chile