The USA Junior All-Americans took out Canada today in the opening match of a two match series between the two North American rivals. A 27-22 score line saw the USA claw back after a seven point halftime deficit.
The JAAs will take on Canada again on Saturday May 26 in Langford, B.C. in the final warm up match before the Junior World Rugby Trophy kicks off on June 18 in Salt Lake City. Saturday's game will be webcast live at sportscanada.tv.
Despite a fairly high penalty count, Kingsley McGowan scored a hat trick against Canada and played a huge role in the win. The JAAs dominated possession and the forwards gave plenty of go forward ball to help release the lethal backs.
A slow start for the USA allowed Canada to jump out to an early lead, scoring a converted try and penalty before the JAAs got on the board. Despite the USA being deep in the Canadian half for much of the first 40, the All-Americans weren’t able to convert territory into points.
McGowan touched down in the corner in the 19th minute to put his team on the board. A few attacking opportunities went begging for the JAAs and Canada notched another score just before halftime to leave the scores at 8-15 Canada. Just before the half, the referee sent Tim O’Hara off for ten minutes for killing the ball, leaving the JAAs seven points behind and a man down.
Cameron Falcon, the big front rower from Louisiana State, barreled over for a score to start the second half and got the JAAs off on the right foot. McGowan was lethal at inside center and scored another great try from short range and Madison Hughes converted to put the USA up 20-15. The home team wasn’t going without a fight, however. Canada got another converted try, but a gritty performance from the All-Americans allowed McGowan to get another five pointer late to go ahead.
McGowan turned a gap into a gaping hole before Canada had time to respond to get his hat trick. The speed merchant almost had a fourth score as well, but was dragged down five meters out from the try line.
The Junior All-Americans closed the first game out, but the Canadians will get a second shot at the Americans on Saturday May 26 in Langford, B.C.
USA Rugby Junior All-Americans 27
Tries: McGowan (3), Falcon
Cons: Hughes (2)
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