In a fixture that normally produces defensive games, Uruguay A and USA Selects combined for 75 points in their Americas Pacific Challenge game Wednesday, with the USA team coming out on top 49-36 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The USA team built on the positive aspects of Saturday's loss to Samoa A -- hard running from its forwards and some slick ball movement from its backs. And with a fairly adventurous halfback pairing of Holden Yungert and Mike McCarthy, the Selects kept up the pressure.
JP Eloff put the USA team ahead early with a penalty goal, but then in the space of 10 minutes the Americans scored three tries and took a commanding lead. Psalm Wooching, the former High School All-American and then University of Washington football star, scored the opening try, and tries followed from Tim Maupin and Aladdin Schirmer to make it 20-0.
The Americans seemed to think it was all taken care of after that, but Uruguay is nothing if not resilient and responded with three tries -- two before halftime and one after -- to get within a point at 20-19.
Josh Whippy's score was crucial in keeping the USA Selects ahead, and then Schirmer and Maupin worked their magic to extend the lead to 39-22. Uruguay did score with 12 minutes to go, but the USA Selects closed it out.
It was a key win for the Americans if only to regain some confidence after an unfortunate loss to Samoa A (helped by a red card that shouldn't have been given).
USA Selects, 49
TRIES: Wooching, Schirmer 2, Maupin 2, Whippy, Pangelinan
CONVS: Eloff 3, Cima
PENS: Eloff, Cima
Uruguay A, 36
TRIES: Magno, Mieres, Favaro, Freitas 2
CONVS: Favaro 2, Prada 2
In other APC action, Tonga A beat Canada A 31-15, and Argentina XV beat Samoa A 85-14. See all scores and standings here.