A tense 24-17 win over Uruguay A in the final match of the competition on Saturday secured Argentina XV the World Rugby Americas Pacific Challenge 2021 title on points difference from Chile A, despite playing a game less than their rivals.
Brazil A came third, followed by Uruguay A, with points difference again coming into play, while the USA Selects finished fifth and Paraguay A sixth.
🏆🌟¡@argentina_xv ganó un partidazo muy complicado frente a @RugbyUruguay A y se llevó el Americas Pacific Challenge 2021!🇺🇾🇦🇷— World Rugby ES (@WorldRugby_ES) October 30, 2021
Felicitaciones @sudamericarugby @RugbyUruguay por increíble organización del torneo! pic.twitter.com/RMLJ5Scyte
Argentina XV 24–17 Uruguay A
The final game at Estadio Charrúa in Montevideo was a tense affair with Argentina XV having to overturn a 10-7 half-time deficit to come out on top.
The Argentina XV, well-led by captain Tomás Cubilla, had to draw on all its experience against a quality Uruguay A side containing 10 players that will travel to Europe with Los Teros for tests against Romania and Italy.
Ill-discipline cost Uruguay A dear, three sin-binnings meant they played half-an-hour of the match with 14 men.
Argentina XV full-back Gerónimo Prisciantelli dived in the left corner for the game’s opening try, but Uruguay A soon replied through Lucas Bianchi, Juan Zucarino converting to add to an earlier penalty.
Turning around three points behind, Argentina XV took even minutes of the second half to take the lead for the second time in the match when Martín Bogado scored after a slick handling move.
The tried-and-tested lineout and maul ploy then sent Mariano Muntaner in for a 56th-minute try that, with a later penalty from Prisciantelli, took to the Argentines to 24 points.
With the loud and passionate local support urging them on, Uruguay A scored through Felipe Aliaga. Zucarino’s conversion left them seven points adrift.
With only four minutes to go, they aimed for the draw – which would have given Chile A the title – but the Argentines managed to play the clock and celebrate the return of the Americas Pacific Challenge trophy.
Brazil A 58-19 Paraguay A
Brazil's backs put on an exhibition of attacking rugby against a side that has struggled defensively all tournament.
Paraguay A will take heart from the fact they scored three tries – treble their tally in the previous two games – but they were over-run by their opponents who were stung into action when going behind to an early Marcelo Matiauda try.
Fly-half Lucas Spago was first to cross for Brazil A before a three-try burst in six minutes really took the game from Paraguay A, full-back Robson Alves de Morais scoring twice and winger David Lima getting the other.
Before the end of the first half, the lead was stretched to 31-5 when hooker Leonardo Souza da Silva scored and Spago added his third conversion.
Lima crossed again five minutes into the second half and would later complete his hat-trick. Centre Gabriel Quirino and replacement prop Alexander Alves, with a 35-metre run, also got their names on the scoresheet and there was a second try for Spago.
Paraguay A captain Martín Sitjaer scored his side's second try in the 56th minute and replacement hooker Daniel Cabral grabbed another late on while Gabriel Souza de Oliveira was in the sin-bin.
Lima had the final word, though, his hat-trick try rounding off a convincing victory.
Chile A 29-14 USA Selects
Chilean hooker Diego Escobar was the standout player on the field in what was a stop-start affair.
He created the opening try – scored after his break by full-back Luca Strabucchi – and dotted down to put himself in contention for a place in Los Condores squad when Chile meet USA in the Rugby World Cup 2023 Americas 2 play-off next year.
Diego Warnken had already kicked a penalty by that stage and with his conversion, Chile led 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Like the senior test team, USA Selects like a maul and they used that tactic to get back into the game while Chile A were down to 14 men following a yellow card to prop Esteban Inostroza. Hooker George Sharpe emerged from the pile of bodies with the ball.
Still down to 14 men, Chile A hit back two minutes later when Escobar pounced on a loose ball and broke a soft tackle. Winger Tomás Alvarado then profited from a smart bit of thinking from captain and scrum-half Lukas Carvalho to send Chile A into the break in a commanding position.
The Chileans stretched their lead to 29-7 shortly after the resumption when Strabucchi got his brace, Warnken adding on the extras for the third time in the match.
Chile A did not trouble the scorers thereafter with USA Selects captain Bailey Wilson's try the only real action of a lacklustre final half an hour.