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Americas Rugby Championship Week 3 Preview
- Updated: February 16, 2017
Canada (18) vs USA (17): This is the big match of the weekend. An Eagles win keeps them undefeated, a Canucks upset draws them level in the win/loss column. The Eagles should be favored in this match despite Canada’s home field advantage, recent history is on the US’ side as they own a four-game winning streak dating back to 2014. Canada still owns the overall advantage with a 38-1-16 record against the Eagles but recent years have seen a downturn in Canadian XVs.
In the match, Canada will have trouble containing the Eagles’ outside size and speed and will rely on matching power inside while forcing US mistakes. Look for a Canadian kicking game early as well as chippy play; if tensions flair the yellow cards will come out and the Eagles can’t afford that.
Players to watch are Eagles center Bryce Campbell and the versatile JP Eloff. For the Canadians, the forward pack must win the matchups and flyhalf Robbie Provey will need to focus his sights on splitting the posts.
Chile (30) vs Argentina (9): Chile host an Argentina XV squad gelling at the right time. This developmental squad may not be the 9th ranked Los Pumas but they’re certainly the class of the ARC at the moment.
For Chile to beat Argentina they will have to find a defense that’s been nonexistent, and an attack that’s been unable to develop phases or any form of cohesion. Anything less than a 50-point victory by Argentina is a win for Chile.
For Argentina, the show will come from the outside with their plethora of talented wingers while flyhalf Franciso Cruz is one to watch, he’s been a highlight for Los Condores whether starting or in reserve.
Uruguay (23) vs Brazil (34): Uruguay may have fallen two places in the world rankings but they should handle the upset-minded Brazilians in this boarder battle. Uruguay has developed a well-rounded squad with quick scoring potential. Brazil’s defense has been suspect; in defeat to the US, the Eagles found easy running lanes and Chile exploited a soft Brazilian center before fatigue and lack of focus derailed their second half attack.
Look for Uruguay to exploit the center of the field while Brazil continues to develop their soccer influenced kick-attack. For Brazil to win this match they will need to force Uruguay into mistakes and turn the match into a penalty contest.
Keep your eye on Uruguayan flyhalf German Albanell and Brazilian inside center Moses Duque as they will likely determine the winner in this kicking duel.