Attack dominated defence once again at the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge 2017 as day two in Montevideo produced a glut of points and tries.

Argentina XV led the way with 13 tries and 85 points scored in a emphatic win over Samoa A, to leave the defending champions on the cusp of another title.

In the other fixtures at the Estadio Charrua in Montevideo, USA Select XV beat Uruguay A in another high-scoring game, while Tonga A eased past Canada A 31-15.


A Tongan side showing four changes to the run-on team beaten by Uruguay A on day one comfortably saw off the challenge of Canada A in Wednesday's opening match in the Uruguayan capital.

Canada A, whose line-up was totally unrecognisable to the one so easily put away by Argentina XV last weekend, took the lead through Robbie Povey's 14th-minute penalty.

But that was as good as it got in the first half for Mike Shelley's men as the Pacific Islanders reeled off 24 unanswered points to hold a commanding lead at the break.

Tonga A score 60 metre beauty at the Americas Pacific Challenge
Tonga A centre Paki Afu finishes off cracking 60 metre try at the Americas Pacific Challenge 2017

Hooker and captain Sione Lolohea got his name on the scoresheet for the second match running to nudge Tonga A ahead in the 21st minute. Samiu Muna, restored to scrum-half for the match, missed the conversion having already spurned a penalty chance.

Influential full-back John Ika then set up two further tries in quick succession, his counterattacks from deep leading to scores for powerful centre Paki Afu and winger Fetuli Moe Ata Paea. Muna was on song with the conversion on this occasion but half-back partner James Faiva was unable add the extras to the third try.

Ika then deservedly scored himself as Tonga A bagged the bonus point on the stroke of half-time.

No points were scored in the third quarter as play became fragmented with both sides unloading their benches. But Tonga A stretched their lead to 31-3 when Afu crossed for his second try and Muna tagged on the two points for the conversion.

Encouraged by Kuli Tonga's yellow card, Canada A produced a late rally to score twice through captain Kyle Gilmour and Pat Parfrey.


Following on from their crushing 71-17 win over Canada A, the Argentina XV tore Samoa A's defence to shreds with a brilliant attacking display that leaves them on the verge of retaining the Americas Pacific Challenge title.

From the word go Felipe Contepomi's side punished any mistakes made by the Samoans to run in 13 tries, two more than they had managed a few days earlier.

Argentina XV score straight from the restart
Argentina XV score incredibly quick try straight from the restart at Americas Pacific Challenge

Hooker Axel Zapata got the ball rolling from a lineout move before Samoa A replied with a stunning long-range score, started and finished by right winger Elisapeta Alofipo.

Bautista Delguy, Juan Cruz González, and two each from Juan Cappiello and Germán Schulz made it seven tries for the Argentina XV before half-time with five converted by González, who finished the match with a 25-point haul to add to the 21 points he managed on day one.

Any hopes Samoa A had that Argentina XV would ease off the throttle in the second half were quickly dashed when the would-be Los Pumas scored straight from the re-start, Sebastien Cancelliere, the hat-trick hero from scrum-half against Canada A, marking his switch to the wing with a 75-metre effort.

With the half-century posted, Argentina XV continued to pile on the agony for the Samoans. Scrum-half Gonzalo Betranou helped himself to a brace either side of Rodrigo Etchart's first try as the Argentinians looked to run the ball back at will.

Etchart profited from an intercept from replacement forward Juan Cruz Guillemain to grab his second before Setu Enoka muscled his way over to finally give the Samoans something to cheer about.

There was still time for one more try, Argentina XV having the final say when number eight Rodrigo Bruni crashed over in stoppage time.


Both sides played a full part in an absorbing contest that was not decided until USA Selects XV replacement Zach Pangelinan scored with the last play of the game.

As in their opening match against Uruguay A, the USA Selects got off to a flying start with tries from Psalm Wooching, Tim Maupin and Aladdin Shirmer following an earlier penalty kick from the boot of centre JP Eloff.

Classy chip leads to Uruguay A try
Uruguay A's Nicolas Freitas touched down after this classy chip from Federico Favaro at Americas Pacific Challenge

Wooching was left with the simplest of run-ins for the game's opening try when fly-half Mike McCarthy picked the openside out on the left flank with a pinpoint crossfield kick.

Josh Whippy orchestrated the next try for fellow winger Maupin, but Shirmer's score was all about individual brilliance, the number eight selling the Uruguayan defence a dummy before racing home.

It took until the 29th minute for the hosts to find a response, experienced second-row Diego Magno getting them on the board after collecting a neat offload from Joaquin Prada, who added the conversion.

When Gastón Mieres scored with four minutes of the half to go, Uruguay A were right back in it at 20-12. And within six minutes of the restart the deficit was down to a single point, winger Nicolás Freitas taking an inside ball from Prada at pace to burst through and score Uruguay A's third try.

The USA Selects hit back with a try for Whippy, but a Freitas penalty kept the home side very much in touch.

A 12-point burst around the hour mark involving second tries for Schirmer and Maupin looked to have got the game won. But Uruguay A fought back from 39-22 down to make it a six-point game with seconds remaining, Federico Favaro dotting down before Freitas capped a fine personal display with a chip-and-chase try.

Uruguay A were unable to win possession at the restart, however, and the Americans made the game safe when Pangelinan delivered the coup de grace.

The two sides are now equal on six competition points apiece, four behind leaders Argentina XV. If the USA Selects XV can secure a bonus point win over Canada A on Sunday they still have a shot at the title but will need Uruguay A to defeat the defending champions and deny them a bonus point in the process.