BHSAAs finish Rugby 4 Nations tournament with defeat of Uruguay

BHSAAs finish Rugby 4 Nations tournament with defeat of Uruguay

RIO CUARTO, Argentina – The USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans completed their tour of Argentina in the 2014 Four Nations tournament on a high note Saturday with a 27-17 defeat of Uruguay, marking the result the players and staff have worked towards on the three-week tour.

The BHSAAs started the game with great passion, as flanker Malcom May (Penn State University) led the physical forward pack. Set piece was an area of emphasis for the BHSAAs leading in to the match as Forwards Coach Paul Barford saw great progress in the developing tight five players all tour. Barford in particular singled out May for his work in the lineout and the front row for setting the tone for the victory.

The front row set the tone in more ways than one for the BHSAAs early, as prop Derise Fuga (Liberty RFC), making his first start of the tour, broke the scoring open with a pick-and-go try in front of the posts in the fifth minute of the game. Fellow front rower and hooker, Steven Branham (Fallbrook HS), added to the scoring later in the half, contributing his own try with flyhalf Ben Cima (Gonzaga College HS) converting both along with a penalty of his own to send the BHSAAs in to the half leading, 17-14.

Defensive pressure was turned up in the second half by the BHSAAs, and it led to great attacking opportunities for the BHSAAs. This was punctuated by a beautiful kick-chase and recover try by captain and center Calvin Whiting (United RFC) in the 64th minute to make it 27-17 and seal the victory for the BHSAAs.

Head Coach Salty Thompson was thrilled with the performance by his team, with the victory culminating a long three-week tour in Argentina that has seen his team grow up in more ways than one.

"The quality of the tournament has been a tremendous learning experience for our boys," said Thompson. "By game three we were able to play for a complete 70 minutes."

The victory sees the BHSAAs finish the Four Nations in third place behind tournament champions Italy and runner up Argentina.

USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans | v Uruguay
1. Connor Cudeback
2. Steven Branham
3. Derise Fuga
4. Leki Fotu
5. Liam Jimmons
6. Wesley Parker
7. Malcolm May
8. Vili Helu
9. Louis Mulholland
10. Ben Cima
11. Mitch Wilson
12. Lorenzo Thomas
13. Calvin Whiting (C)
14. Seth Halliman
15. Alex Walsh

USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans | Reserves
16. Darien Pickett
17. Suwaiter Poch
18. Jack Iscaro
19. Reed Heynen
20. Junior Helu
21. Sione Masoe
22. Aaron Matthews
23. Joeli Tikoisuva

USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans | Coaching Staff
Salty Thompson - Head Coach
Michael Engelbrecht - Assistant Coach
Paul Barford - Assistant Coach
Sean Duffy - Manager
Anne Micinski - Trainer

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Comments (7)

  • Guest (Guest)

    I watched a lot of these kids play at 3 of the RAST tournaments and they were not impressive. Current selection system, process and staff needs to be replaced. Total overhaul. Same thing each year. No direction, no vision, no communication, no growth. Staff especially needs replacing. Sad, this result and program are beneath the USA standard of sport and does not serve the rugby world.

  • Guest (Trevor-Olympia,Wa)

    Guest-your opinion makes me curious to who you are? Lots of people write interesting opinions and observations, but its difficult to qualify your remarks without some disclosure. Attending 3 RASTs, its obvious you have an interest in youth rugby. Are you a coach? Ref? Fan? In your eyes, how is the selction process flawed?

    Their is too much turnover when it comes to our national teams coaching staff! Its ridiculous! Salty has been a rock, when it comes to developing youth rugby in US. He has skin in the game...he is committed! He is consistent! Exactly what youth needs. A rock! I m biased. I have attended several coach clinics with Salty.

    Who would you replace him with?
    Cheers

  • Guest (Joni Branham So Cal)

    In response to the negative comment, you are obviously upset and need to get to know the HSAA program better. As a parent of a four time HSAA player I have been nothing but impressed with the direction, growth and organization of the entire program over the past four international tours and the winter camp selection process. I have never seen a program for youth that has been more professionally run, from the day my son was pulled over to the sidelines in Denver three years ago to the Argentina tour my son is currently on. Not only have I seen it through my sons eyes, I have attended three Rast tournaments, a Winter selection camp and two international tournaments one in London and one in Portuagal over the past two years. Salty and his team are amazing with the the boys they work intensely to make the best assessment of each boy from the initial selection to identifying which players are best for each individual game. Another thing for you to be aware of is the addition of the the Eagle Impact Academy Salty has added, as well as the newest set up of the RAST selection process that took place this year. It may have had a learning curve but it allowed so many more players in Southern California to be seen and have the opportunity for a new level of training. Before you juddge you may want to get to know the entire program better and understand all that goes into the entire process.

  • Guest (Guest)

    If you think the past 4 years are 'good' and 'steps in the right direction' then the bar and expectations are too low. You need exposure to a real HSAA camp and so do our young players. USA Rugby unfortunately can't provide that thus we cheer and pat ourselves on the back for having a 'successful' program like the one we have now. Think bigger please, for USA Rugby and the kids.

  • Guest (Paul)

    Anyone that criticizes the HSAA program and its coaches has absolutely know idea what they are talking about. You have to have a full and detailed understanding of how the program started, understand how it is has been funded (or not in the past) be on tour and observe the players and coaches, understand other countries' setups and structures and how they are funded and directed, compare our coaches and players to those countries given our particular set of circumstances, have lived abroad and experienced national youth rugby in other countries ...... the list goes on. I have done all of that and I am in position to make those comparisons and I can say unequivocally that the HSAA program is better than it can be possibly be given all circumstances like logistics (5 hour coast to coast flying time) etc and that the coaches are excellent. What makes Salty Thompson, Michael Engelbrecht and Paul Barford a cut above is that they get the boys and know how to handle them as human beings and adults away from the game, which is a concern to them and not the case with all rugby coaches. They do the best job possible given the circumstances they are dealing with. They cannot account for logistics or the domestic quality of youth competition and what boys learn and what level they are competing with in the US week in week out or how much a kid is playing American Football. The national rugby coaches in England get boys that are fresh out of domestic Premiership League Under 18 matches week in week out and merely accent a national team game plan on top of what they have already learned at their professional club academies. What Salty and his coaches do in a few days before an international match is nothing short of miraculous - for the USA boys to be on the same field as Argentina, England or Italy and compete with them is a testament to the boys and their coaching. Could the situation be better? Of course, but there are a lot of moving parts in that conundrum like logistics, US rugby's relationship with American sports at high school and college (American Football in particular) etc. Without Aircraft Chartered Solutions sponsorship of the HSAAs we would not even be having this debate so the critics should stop and understand that the choice is what we have or nothing at all and I can say categorically the HSAA program and its coaches has left opposing international coaches massively impressed about our boys and USA rugby because of the way they play and conduct themselves on and off the field, and what it is irrefutable is those international coaches know a hell of a lot more than the critics here.

  • Guest (Guest)

    Absolutely missing the point and the long diatribe response clearly shows by how far the point is missed. Simply don't care about the past and how challenging the circumstances are, anyone who knows the program and USA rugby understands this. What you just wrote means zero, points are laughable and in the big scheme mean nothing. Time to start a new program with a 180 degree perspective and be what we can be. Or let's continue on in this 'successful' program and settle for being a respectable program and try hard and be second best. Excellent idea. This program the way it works now will never be a champion period. Ever.

  • Guest (Matt)

    God help everyone if Guest(Guest) gets near their kids. Hateful, angry person who knows his own identity and likes his own comments 30 times. Watch this space for more rants.