Argentina sign off disappointing World Cup with win over USA
Pumas ensured qualification for 2023 tournament with comfortable win in Kumagaya
Juan Cruz Mallia of Argentina scores his side’s fourth try during the Rugby World Cup 2019 Group C win over USA. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Argentina 47 United States of America 17
Argentina secured the consolation of qualification for the 2023 World Cup as they wrapped up their 2019 campaign with a 47-17 win against the United States.
Defeat to England last time out ended the Pumas’ hopes of reaching the knockout stages, having made it to the semi-finals four years ago.
But they made sure of third place in Pool C with a comfortable victory over the US in their final match of the tournament in Kumagaya on Wednesday.
It took Mario Ledesma’s much-changed Argentina side until the 19th minute to break the deadlock, with Nicolas Sanchez, who contributed 15 points in total, touching down in the corner despite a last-ditch tackle from Mike Te’o.
Joaquin Tuculet got on the end of a chip to stretch the advantage and crossed again six minutes from the break, but Blaine Scully raced on to an AJ MacGinty grubber kick to reduce the deficit in the closing stages of the half.
The Pumas found their rhythm early in the second period, with Juan Cruz Mallia crossing twice in the opening seven minutes and Jeronimo De La Fuente finishing off an excellent move as the South Americans opened up a 40-5 lead.
Paul Lasike barged his way through the Argentine defence just short of the hour mark to take the US into double figures and, after Gonzalo Bertranou had chalked up Argentina’s seventh try, Scully went over for his second to round off the scoring.
The US face Tonga in Higashiosaka on Sunday in a clash between Pool C’s two eliminated sides.
Scorers – Argentina: Tries: Sanchez, Tuculet 2, Mallia 2, de la Fuente, Bertranou. Cons: Sanchez 5, Urdapilleta. USA: Tries: Scully 2, Lasike. Cons: MacGinty.
Argentina: Tuculet, Delguy, Mallia, de la Fuente, Carreras, Sanchez, Ezcurra, Tetaz Chaparro, Montoya, Medrano, Petti, Alemanno, Matera, Leguizamon, Bruni.
Replacements: Moroni for de la Fuente (62 mins), Urdapilleta for Sanchez (62 mins), Bertranou for Ezcurra (57 mins), Vivas for Tetaz Chaparro (53 mins), Creevy for Montoya (62 mins), Pieretto for Medrano (53 mins), Lezana for Petti (60 mins).
USA: Te’o, Scully, Campbell, Lasike, Brache, MacGinty, de Haas, Fry, Taufete’e, Lamositele, Brakeley, Peterson, Lamborn, Germishuys, Dolan.
Replacements: Hooley for Te’o (50 mins), Iosefo for MacGinty (73 mins), Augspurger for de Haas (62 mins), Kilifi for Fry (50 mins), Fawsitt for Taufete’e (50 mins), Mullen for Lamositele (50 mins), Landry for Brakeley (60 mins), Pinkelman for Lamborn (60 mins).