AIG MJAAs learn tough lesson in 0-97 loss to South Africa at Junior World Championships

AIG MJAAs learn tough lesson in 0-97 loss to South Africa at Junior World Championships

LA ROCHE-SUR-YON, France – Last year, the USA Rugby AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans won the 2012 IRB Junior World Trophy, earning a spot in the 2013 Junior World Championship. In their first match Wednesday, the MJAAs went up against South Africa, last year’s champions, and fell 0-97.

It only took two minutes for the title holders to get on the board, and within 15 minutes South Africa had a 15-0 lead. Cheslin Kolbe, fullback for Super Rugby’s Stormers in South Africa, gave the MJAAs an early taste by taking a kick from nearly his own try zone to the MJAAs’ 22 before offloading to a teammate for a try.

Much of the match followed the same pattern, with poor tackling from the MJAAs contributing to South Africa’s insurmountable lead. The Springboks went into the dressing room at halftime up 54-0 before coming out and putting another 43 points on the board in the second half.

Head Coach Jason Kelly made an early substitution in the first half and allowed others to get action in the second half, even though the opening Pool A match was out of reach.

"It was a tough day," Kelly said. "We're very disappointed with the overall performance."

The MJAAs can look ahead to facing host France and England in the next week.

Universal Sports has added all USA Rugby AIG Junior All-American matches and the Final for the IRB Junior World Championships to its list of rugby programming in June. The schedule below includes both live streaming of the matches on, as well as broadcast same-day-delay of the match on Universal Sports’ cable channel.

Follow @aarugby on Twitter for updates from France and watch the MJAAs' matches on the IRB Junior World Championship website.

Sunday, June 9
France vs. MJAAs
Kickoff – 12:45 P.M. ET
Broadcast time – 9:00 P.M. ET

Thursday, June 13
England vs. MJAAs
Kickoff – 12:45 P.M. ET
Broadcast time – 10:00 P.M. ET

Sunday, June 23
Kickoff – 12:45 P.M. ET
Broadcast time – 9:00 P.M. ET

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Comments (14)

  • Guest - R105

    Rugbymag named the top 15 all freshman team for college players in the USA... Not one of them is on this team. Half the players named all freshman are american players with youth club and All American camp and tour experience and now high college play. These players are the future of USA Rugby and will be coaches after that. They should be placing in France to further their overall knowledge.

  • Guest - Kirk

    Lession learned. These kids are our core future national team and they need the USA Rugby full attention. We are already in tier 1 competition and it should be treated as such. Drop back to tier 2 would be a step back. Free from politics and who knows who but pure talent and college standard to set us apart from any other country and this would also encourage pursueing edacation at the highest level, after all, professional is not here yet. We cannot put blame on anyone but we have to work together on these issues so that come next U20 world cup our boys are ready. No more last minute work and secreative appoinment of our warriors because we can do better than this. Good Luck and God Bless America.

  • Guest - Robin

    In reply to Sam.

    1. The other teams in this competition would probably have started preparing less than 2 months is the case in for most (if not all) international teams.
    2. It takes money to get a team together to prepare.......more so in the USA than any of the other teams competing.......simple because our country is so much bigger.
    3. None of the players are professional rugby in they have other lives to live and money to earn.
    3. You are welcome to sponsor the team (and the players) to start 6 months prior to the competition next time.........if you want to let me know if you want to and I will tell you how.


    You are dead wrong........the players will learn significantly more in the games they play in this competition than they would playing (and winning) 30 games in the lower tier

  • Guest - Sam

    Definately struck some chords there!! Robin! I know rugby is a game of Passion and Pride, and it requires a lot of team work, including the support from the rugby community especially immediate families. I can almost certain if you would have prepared 6 months before the game you would still be able to put together a much stronger team without stretching your budget. Eg. You could have a pool of 200 or 100 kids from all over the country earmark for the tryout and meet once every month. Identify where or which states they come from 1st and divide them into N/E/S/W or 4 divisions and set dates for these kids to meet and train together in their divisions and the USA rugby could arrange some tryouts for these divisions at a later date. Involve the parents to organize there travel arrangements and ensure everyone are on board with these idea. This is just one idea that can help develop rugby in the country because you can't have a national team dominated by a single or two clubs only, it doesn;t make any sense at all. Like I mention earlier its Passion and Pride of this sport that makes it different from any other sport in the world....Getting paid p[laying rugby is just a bonus, at least as far as I am concerned.