3 Things – Americas World Cup Qualification

It’s a pivotal time for rugby in the Americas RWC 2023 qualification is in full swing. While the USA and Uruguay fight for a direct spot in the Cup, Canada and Chile are fighting for their lives. There’s more than a few story lines that come from such high stakes. So, without further ado…

Eagles Edge Uruguay, But Advantage Los Teros

A test match between teams ranked 16th and 17th in the World Rugby Rankings probably should be close, and the final 19-16 scoreline looks appropriate. However, the USA led 19-3 in the final quarter. That’s a (does hard math) 13 point pickup from Uruguaythat takes them from the back foot to the front foot in the second leg.

Consider the USA/Canada series. The Eagles were knocked back by three possessions headed into the home leg. This time, the shoe is on the opposing foot, but the second match is in Montevideo. Can the Eagles draw or win on the road? A repeat of the match in Saint John’s seems unlikely, but I’m concerned. With AJ MacGinty still out for Round Two, it’s going to be a dog fight.

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Hanco Germishuys amd Christian Dyer are Automatic Selections

Consider the Eagles roster going into this year. Automatic selections were few and far between. Assuming health, the default sheet looked a bit like this:

  1. TBD
  2. TBD
  3. TBD
  4. TBD
  5. TBD
  6. TBD
  7. TBD
  8. Cam Dolan
  9. Ruben de Haas
  10. AJ MacGinty
  11. TBD
  12. Bryce Campbell
  13. TBD
  14. TBD
  15. TBD

In fairness, there were still names you’d expect to see (Brache, Hooley, Magie, Augspurger, and Civetta would be somewhere on the sheet, while Ainu’u, Pifeleti, Taufete’e were subject only to front line rotation).

Now, the Eagles have two more can’t miss talents. And they’re young.

Hanco Germishuys started at 6 after playing at 7 the last few matches. He clearly didn’t care which side of the pack he played on. The Terminator (I really think Dallen Stanford is the only one that calls him that) stepped in for the absent Fa’ana-Schultz who had a pair of yellow in the last match. Reikert Hattingh also remains out. Hanco belongs on every team. The only question is if he’ll play open or blindside.

Christian Dyer is in an even better spot. The Eagles 7s player has yet to earn a cap on the 7s side, but 15s has suited him beautifully. In a global game full of speedsters and bullies on the modern wing, Dyer presents a bit of a hybrid. While he certainly has speed, its his ability to push a tackler back that lets him find that extra meter, often over the goal line. Unlike Hanco, there’s no positional question.

14. Christian Dyer. Add it to the team sheet template.

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Canada’s RWC Chances Are Slipping

Like the Eagles, the Maple Leafs took a home win, a scrappy 1 point victory that makes a loss in the second leg impossible to survive. If you struggled to find the stream, welcome from the rest of us. Bryan Ray of Americas Rugby News had the summary in a tweet:

Does Canada rebound? They took a massive beating on the road against the USA just a few weeks ago. A loss will knock them out of the 2023 Cup and would be devastating for the national program. Chile has looked an improved program this year. Without a World Cup to end the cycle, a loss on Saturday could lead to changes from the top to the bottom. Its a situation worth watching closely.

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