The USA Rugby Men’s Junior All-Americans stormed back from a 0-21 deficit Saturday (May 26) to take out Canada’s Under 20s 34-28 at Bear Mountain Stadium in Langford. The USA swept the two match series.
With the Junior World Rugby Trophy kicking off on June 18 in Salt Lake City, the USA will go into the tournament confident, battle-hardened, and not untested despite being undefeated.
Canada went up three tries to zero inside of 15 minutes on Saturday before the All-Americans kicked into gear, but three tries from winger Noah Tarrant, a brace from Pierce Dargan, and an inspired defense gave the JAAs the eventual hard fought win. The Canadians managed to score only once in the last 65 minutes of the game despite an early rash of tries.
Outstanding performances from Tarrant and Dargan helped the JAAs, but flyhalf playmaker and JAA captain Will Magie also helped create opportunities and pressure the Canadian defense.
That pressure built on Canada and came to a head when two Canadian players were yellow carded, giving the USA a two-man advantage for the final ten minutes. That was when Dargan scored his second and put the All-Americans in the lead.
Overcoming deficits early in both of the games against Canada not only shows the USA's ability to score points, it demonstrates a mentally tough and determined team, a positive sign moving towards the JWRT in June.
At the JWRT, the USA will face Tonga (June 18), Chile (June 22), and Russia (June 26) in pool play and will try to earn a place in the championship game on June 30.
Tries: Dargan(2), Tarrant(3)
Conversions: Hughes (3)
Tries: Stones, Ferguson, Hart, Fuilefau
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