U.S. qual­i­fies for Cup

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE -

The United States qual­i­fied for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as the top North Amer­i­can side for the first time af­ter thrash­ing Canada by a record 52-16 on Satur­day in San Diego. Canada had won 15 out of 20 qual­i­fiers be­tween the neigh­bors, but hadn’t beaten the Ea­gles in four years. The first leg in Hamil­ton was drawn 2828 last week­end, and the sec­ond leg was close at the Univer­sity of San Diego un­til Canada lost its com­po­sure while it had mo­men­tum. Be­cause of a no-arms tackle rul­ing against Canada, it lost a scrum put-in near half­way and had to de­fend a five-me­ter li­ne­out in­stead. The Ea­gles drove it and re­place­ment Joe Taufete scored from the rolling maul. Be­hind by 10 points, Canada No. 8 Tyler Ar­dron was then sin-binned for col­laps­ing a maul, and while he was off the field, the U.S. rushed in three tries; a sec­ond li­ne­out drive score for Taufete’e, an 80-me­ter break fin­ished by scrumhalf Nate Augspurger, and an­other rolling maul score for re­place­ment prop Dino Wal­dren. AJ MacGinty con­verted all three, and six of their eight tries as the Ea­gles notched their high­est score and big­gest mar­gin against Canada. It was a fit­ting send off for re­tir­ing cap­tain Todd Clever, who was play­ing his record-ex­tend­ing 76th cap since 2003, and Coach John Mitchell, who was leav­ing to coach South Africa Su­per Rugby side the Bulls. The Amer­i­cans’ re­ward was a place in World Cup Pool C in Ja­pan with Eng­land, France, Ar­gentina, and a yet-to-be-de­ter­mined Ocea­nia side.

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