USA down Los Teros in RWC qualifier
October 1, 2006

What started out looking like a fairly even match-up Saturday between the US Men's National Team and Uruguay, turned into a blow out in the second half as the USA scored 31 unanswered points to beat Uruguay 42-13 in the first match of a two-game series that will determine the last America's spot at the Rugby World Cup in 2007.

The U.S. went try-less the majority of the first half, but was able to stay on the board with Captain Mike Hercus (Newport-Gwent Dragons) kicking two penalties. Uruguay also kicked two penalties, but scored a try at around the 25 minute mark, making it 13-3. USA's Paul Emerick (Newport-Gwent Dragons) finally touched one down minutes before halftime, to put the U.S. at 11 to Uruguay's 13.

"We knew how we wanted to play going into the game," Eagles Head Coach Peter Thorburn said. "I think it was just a matter of getting the team to settle down and execute their game plan. They were really fired up at the start of this game and the Uruguayan's came out trying to agitate us. Uruguay had really felt they were the favorites in this series."

In the second half, however, it was all over for the home team as the USA's Elwood Hullinger (Brigham Young University) scored a hattrick, San Diego's Todd Clever (North Harbour RFC) scored a try, and Hercus converted four extra points and made one more penalty kick before the whistle blew.

"They are a pretty powerful team, so I was really happy to see our team come out in the second half and out-drive them. I was also impressed by how we outlasted them," Thorburn said."We really have to give David Williams credit for the team's conditioning."

The two teams now go to Stanford University's Stueber Rugby Stadium for the second part of the qualification process, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2006. USA Rugby has announced that this international test match will be free for anyone who wishes to attend.

"It wouldn't be wise to go into this next game too overconfident," Thorburn added. "But they would have to beat us by 29 points to guarantee their qualification, and they won't be able to do that. I have told our team that we have to go to California and treat our public to a good performance. We owe the U.S. a good match and want to show them what we are capable of."

For more information on the upcoming match at Stanford, please log on to www.usarugby.org; or contact Sara John at sjohn@usarugby.org.

USA 42

Tries: Emerick, Clever, Hullinger 3

Conversions: Hercus 4

Penalties: Hercus 3

1. Mike French; 2. Patrick Bell; 3. Chris Osentowski; 4. Alec Parker; 5. Hayden Mexted; 6.. Mark Aylor; 7. Todd Clever; 8. Scott Lawrence; 9. Chad Erskine; 10. Mike Hercus (C); 11. Paul Emerick; 12. Albert Tuipulotu; 13. Phillip Eloff; 14. Jeff Hullinger; 15. Francois Viljoen. Replacements: 16. Blake Burdette; 17. Mike MacDonald; 18. John Vitale; 19. Adam Russell; 20. Ron Rosser; 21. David Williams; 22. Vaha Esikia.


Uruguay 13

Try: Campomar

Conversions: Menchaca

Penalties: Menchaca 2

1. Rodrigo Sánchez; 2. Juan Andrés Pérez, 3.Guillermo Storace; 4. Juan Miguel Álvarez; 5. Juan Alzueta; 6. Hernán Ponte; 7. Nicolás Grille; 8. Rodrigo Capó (C); 9. Juan Campomar; 10. Matías Arocena; 11. Juan Labat; 12. Diego Aguirre; 13. Juan Martín Llovet; 14. Joaquín Pastore; 15 Juan Menchaca. Replacements: 16 Diego Lamelas; 17 Nicolás Klappenbach; 18 Oscar Durán;19 Rafael Álvarez; 20 Ignacio Conti; 21 Sebastián Aguirre; 22 Francisco De Posadas.

Referee: George Clancy (Ireland)
Touch judges: Gerard English (Ireland), Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assessor: Paul Bridgman (England)
Match Commissioner: Trevor Arnold (Canada)

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