Argentina XV Clinches ARC With Win Over Canada

Argentina XV clinched the 2019 Americas Rugby Championship with a game to go after beating Canada 39-23 Friday night in Langford, BC.

With the win, Argentina XV can only be caught on standings points by the USA, and the Argentinian team has the tiebraker over the Eagles.

Tough One In Canada

Despite the 16-point margin, Argentina XV needed every ounce of their stamina and attitude to come out on top at Westhills Stadium as Canada never gave in and pushed them to their limits.

The first half was harder than the 22-6 scoreline might have suggested, even with three tries scored bringing the goal of a try-scoring bonus point within their grasp.

Argentina XV certainly could not have asked for a better start as with just 21 seconds on the clock, center Tomás Cubilla scoring after scrum-half Jamie Mackenzie’s kick was charged down.

Ciaran Hearn (two) and Domingo Miotti then exchanged penalties as defenses proved stronger than both teams' disjointed attacks.

On the half-hour mark, from an attacking scrum, two short passes and an inside pass put promising winger Matías Osadczuk away for Argentina XV’s second try.

See Full ARC Standings

On the stroke of halftime, the visitors had their third try after a passage of ball control and retention involving most of the team, Cubilla grabbing his second try after an offload from his fellow center Lucas Mensa.

Canada showed their commitment at the start of the second half and, having been stopped a couple of times short of the try-line, second-row Kyle Baillie was pushed over for their first try.

Desperate for the bonus-point try, Argentina XV failed to make the most of three attacking lineouts and in fact a ball lost centimetres from the line was turned into a magnificent 90-meter counterattack finished off by winger Andrew Coe. Gordon McRorie’s second conversion left the score uncomfortably close for the visitors, who now led by just two points. 

Miotti increased that advantage with a penalty with 17 minutes to go after the Argentina XV players realized they needed to focus on the getting the win, rather than getting the bonus point, but once more McRorie kept Canada in touch with a penalty of his own.

The fourth try did ultimately come, after scrumhalf Felipe Ezcurra darted through the smallest of gaps close to the post to dot down and give replacement Martín Roger an easy conversion.

A forward pass denied Canada their third try, which would have meant a nervous final 10 minutes. The home side never stopped trying, but while Nakai Penny was in the sin-bin the Argentina XV wrapped up the win—and the title—with a penalty try from an advancing scrum.

“We worked very hard for this. Since we started together we spoke about strengthening the team and being serious; I think we did a good job,” said Ezcurra. “At times during the ARC we played great attacking rugby and at times our defense stood out. We knew how to win each game. Against Chile we will continue working as a team and trying to be the best we can, individually and as a team.”

“To win the Americas Rugby Championship again is extremely enjoyable; it is what we worked for," said Argentina captain Lautaro Bavaro. "Our attitude was the key aspect. We spoke about it when we started working on January 7, we said it would be our flag. We have a game left and we must not lose our focus.”

Rugby Rules 101: What Does "Ruck" Mean?

For new players to the game of rugby, the concept of a "ruck" can be a tricky one to apprehend, as there is no other sport that involves rucking. However, once you've got a clearer picture of a ruck, also known as a "breakdown", it's a relatively easy thing to understand. 

Premiership Rugby Eyes Mid-August Return

Following the league shutdown due to coronavirus in March, the Gallagher Premiership looks set for a return to action on August 15th. One week ago, UK government officials announced that elite-level sports would be able to resume on June 1st behind closed doors. 

The 5 Best Women's Rugby Shorts

Having a comfortable pair of rugby shorts can greatly impact one’s performance during training and games. When choosing shorts, you want to take into consideration the fit and the durability, especially if you’re going to be in the scrum. The last thing you would want is for your shorts to rip during a scrum because the fabric was not durable enough. In addition to the durability, you want to make sure the shorts are breathable and comfortable for tackling, running, and potentially kicking. If you’re in the market for a new pair of shorts, here are five different types of shorts that you can check out:

Rugby vs Soccer: Former SEC Soccer Player Compares The Two

One of the great things about rugby is that it's a multi-skilled sport which lends itself well to crossover athletes. Particularly in a sports-mad country like the United States, we see tons of players seamlessly make the transition from other sports to rugby. 

How To Throw A Great Rugby Pass

Throwing a great pass can carve up a defense unlike any other facet of the game in rugby. A well-timed, well-placed ball puts a defense under enormous pressure and causes fractures in the defensive line. As long as the ball is placed accurately, on time, and in a position that the receiver can catch the ball on the move without breaking stride, it doesn't matter what it looks like. Heck, if we're looking at football, think of Peyton Manning's passes. One of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game rarely threw a spiral, but he did tick the boxes of accurate, on time, and in stride. 

Some Useful Rugby Passing Drills

Here is a quick, easy passing progression that will help you and your team sharpen your distribution skills and carve opponents up on the weekends. Even the best defenses in the world cannot defend near-perfect passing, so having the ability to run-catch-pass is one of the most lethal weapons in the book. 

We Stand With You

The events of the last week have been tremendously painful to us all.

Rugby Drills That Keep Your Social Distance

As of June 1st, many rugby teams have been granted the option of getting together to conduct practice. However, the practices must adhere to the six feet social distancing rules and players are not allowed to use any equipment. Therefore, options for a practice plan are going to be extremely limited, but that doesn't mean you can't still get some good out of having the team together. 

Bring Em Down: How To Tackle Big Guys In Rugby

For many of rugby players out there, especially us smaller ones, we're all too familiar with the sight of a large, rampaging big man or woman lined up across from us about to get the ball. Our fight or flight instincts kick in, and in that moment of instinctual reaction we dictate the likelihood that the tackle does or does not get made. 

Step By Step Guide: How To Break Tackles In Rugby

One of the best ways to completely unhinge a defense is to beat your defender one on one with a step or a tackle bust. While not all of us can step like Cheslin Kolbe, we do all have the ability to break a tackle and get our team on the front foot. No matter your size, speed, or strength, you can always bust out of a tackle with some clever use of footwork and a trust in your balance.