Thirty-two tries and an incredible 221 points were scored as the second edition of the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge began with a feast of running rugby in Montevideo.

In perfect conditions at the Estadio Charrua, Samoa A beat the 14-man USA Select XV 46-28 in the opening game, before Argentina XV enjoyed an 11-try, 71-17 victory against Canada A.

The final match of the day was much more evenly-contested but Uruguay pulled through to win 34-25 against Tonga A.




Samoa A found another gear in the second half to punish a USA Select XV reduced to 14 men shortly after the break.

The Americans went into the interval only three points in arrears of the Pacific Islanders but the concession of an early try shortly after the restart, followed by Hanco Germishuys쀁 dismissal for foul play ended their hopes.

After a relatively subdued start to the match, Samoa A clicked into gear to scores two breakaway tries through La쀁aloi Leilua and Elisapeta Alofipo and establish a 17-0 lead inside the first half an hour.

The young Eagles prospects would keep the score close by half-time however, after two impressive scores from Tim Maupin and captain Peter Malcom, just before time was up.

Samoa A came out in determined mood at the start of the second half and were rewarded with a converted try for prop Tiama Viliamu to push the score out to 24-14 in their favour.

The red card to back-rower Germishuys came In the next play and USA Select heads immediately dropped, Samoa A taking full advantage to score four more tries in a 12-minute burst through captain and number eight Suamalie Tuiletufuga, Tagaloa Fonoti, Ionatana Tino and Rodney Tapu.

Credit to the USA Select XV, they never gave in and tries from Mitch Wilson and Bryce Campbell will give them some much-needed momentum going into Wednesday쀁s match against Uruguay A.


Half-backs Sebastián Cancelliere and Juan Cruz González ran the show as Argentina XV began the defence of the title they won 12 months ago, also in Montevideo, with an emphatic 71-17 win over Canada A.

Scrum-half Cancelliere scored a hat-trick and fly-half González contributed 21 points through a try and eight conversions in a thoroughly one-sided contest. The Canadians managed three tries in response, two coming in the second half.

The scoring spree started in the third minute when Argentina XV won turnover ball and set up a try for Cancelliere. The scrum-half then went off for running repairs and it was his temporary replacement, Nicolás Cantaruti, that scored next.

With centre Santiago Mare carving open the Canadian midfield at will, it was not long before the reigning Americas Pacific Challenge champions struck again, and this time it was Gonzalez who got his name on the scoresheet.

Cancelliere then chipped in with two more, with Gonzalez adding the extras to the second to take the score to 33-0 in as many minutes.

A quick-tap penalty finally put Canada A on the board through scrum-half Andrew Ferguson, but Argentina XV had the final say of the half when full-back Bautista Delguy scored the first of his two tries for a 38-5 half-time lead.

Although Canada A scored twice more in the second half through second-row Conor Keys and centre Guiseppe du Toit, they let in five at the other end with Gaspar Baldunciel, Delguy, Rodrigo Etchart, Franco Cuaranta and Benjamín Espinal all crossing the whitewash for a big 71-17 win.


Uruguay A쀁s scrum dominance ultimately proved the difference as the home side came out on top in an entertaining finale to the opening round.

Defences dominated the opening quarter and the only points on the board came from kicks, Samiu Muna landing both his penalty attempts to one from Federico Favaro to put Tonga A 6-3 up.

Tonga A, however, were coming under increased pressure at scrum time and, after a series of repeated collapses, Romanian referee Vlad Iordachescu was left with no option but to send the offending loose-head Loiola Vea to the sin-bin.

Uruguay A immediately capitalised on the one-man advantage, another almighty shove from the pack resulting in number eight Manuel Diana scoring in the 28th minute. Favaro (pictured) was on song with the conversion in what was a memorable match for the left winger.

Just past the half-hour mark, Tonga A fashioned a superb score for Fe쀁ofa쀁aki Kaumavae and Muna added the extras as the Islanders reclaimed the lead, at 13-10. But Favaro, with the first of two tries, ensured it was the home side who were in front at the break.

Within seven minutes of the re-start Favaro was over again, taking a long pass from Gaston Gibernau before outsprinting the cover to touch down in the corner. Once again, his conversion was on the money.

Trailing by two converted scores, Tonga A unloaded their bench and the fresh legs seemed to galvanise them into action as they fought back to within two points following tries from captain and hooker Sione Lolohea and winger Heamatangi Tu쀁ivai, the latter converted by replacement kicker James Faiva.

Uruguay A reverted back to type to close out the game and the award of a 75th-minute penalty try after another back-pedalling Tongan scrum collapsed, gave them the breathing space they needed.

The World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge continues on Wednesday when USA Select XV take on Uruguay A in the first match of the day, followed by Argentina XV versus Samoa A and Tonga A versus Canada A.

Photos: Uruguay RU