LANGFORD, British Columbia – The Eagles Select XV opened the 2013 IRB Americas Rugby Championship with a 9-27 loss to Argentina at Westhills Stadium Friday.
Fullback Adam Siddall kicked three penalty goals for the Eagles, who have Canada to look forward to Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Argentina opened the scoring with a penalty goal in the seventh minute and followed it up with the first try three minutes later. The Eagles held the Jaguars at the line, but Toby L’Estrange’s clearance kick failed to find touch. Argentina moved down the field and a chip kick into the try zone gave Martin Chiappesoni the opening try.
Derek Asbun relieved Liam Murphy in the 13th minute due to injury, and it was not long after when Matias Orlando caught up to Pedro Imhoff’s kick for the Jaguars’ second try and a 13-0 lead.
Titi Lamositele drew an Argentinian penalty in the 31st minute and Siddall kicked his first penalty of the match from distance, though it was just short. The Eagles went back on the attack but were halted by a penalty.
In the 37th minute, a strong Eagles scrum drew another Jaguars penalty, this time in better position for Siddall, who put the ball through the uprights for the Eagles’ first points of the night.
The Eagles went into halftime with a 3-13 deficit and the game still ready to be taken by either team. A quick try by Javier Rojas after the restart set the Eagles back, however, with the Jaguars’ lead extended to 20-3.
Argentina committed a penalty in a scrum in their own defensive territory and Eagles captain Cam Dolan elected to go for points, setting Siddall up for his third attempt of the match. His kick was straight and true, bringing the Eagles within 14 at 20-6.
Another penalty goal from Siddall in the 53rd minute made the score 20-9, and the Eagles started to wear down the Argentinian defense with tough tackling and quick ball movement.
With just 10 minutes remaining, Argentina was shown a yellow card for multiple penalties. An Eagles comeback looked possible with one less Jaguar on the field, but Facundo Barrea nulled the disadvantage for his side with an individual try after a failed clearance kick from the Eagles in their own try zone.
The two teams played a few extra minutes after the full 80 had been played with the Eagles on the attack, but it was too little, too late, and the referee eventually blew his whistle before they could sniff the try line.
“Compared to last year, I think we excelled,” Dolan said after the match. “We came out and played a strong game. A couple little mistake, a weak try there late, and a couple tries early kind of hurt us. Overall, the defense played well and our attack looks stronger.”
Up next for the Eagles Select XV is Canada, who took on Uruguay in the second match Friday. Canada finished 2-1 at last year’s tournament, including a 23-3 win against the Eagles.
“Any time we play Canada it’s pretty important for both countries,” Dolan said. “It’s one of those games you get up for and the adrenaline kicks in for 80-plus minutes.”
Watch the 2013 IRB Americas Rugby Championship LIVE on Rugby Canada’s YouTube channel. The Eagles’ second match at Westhills Stadium kicks off Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 10:00 P.M. ET.
Eagles Select XV | v. Argentina
1. Titi Lamositele
2. Phillip Thiel
3. Shawn Pittman
4. Graham Harriman
5. William Haydock
6. Daniel Barrett
7. Liam Murphy
8. Cameron Dolan
9. Shaun Davies
10. Toby L'Estrange
11. Ed Mills
12. Mile Pulu
13. Chris Chapman
14. Mark Roberts
15. Adam Siddall
Eagles Select XV | Reserves
16. Cameron Falcon
17. Nick Wallace
18. Chris Sullivan
19. Tai Tuisamoa
20. Derek Asbun
21. Chris Saint
22. Peter Moala
23. Tim Maupin
Eagles Select XV | 9
Penalties: Siddall (3)