U19 2007 RWC - USA edge Russia
4 Apr 2007
Russia and the USA played out a low scoring, yet entertaining match, at Malone on the first day of the IRB Under 19 World Championship 2007 with the USA coming away with the win 6-0.
A large crowd was present to show their support for USA coach Will Thompson who originally hails from Portavogie, Northern Ireland. Both sides received plenty of vocal encouragement as they sought to play running rugby.
Russia pushed the USA line hard in the opening minutes, but it was the USA who earned the reward as they broke into the Russian twenty-two for the first time and received a penalty straight in front of the posts. Fly half Hamish Roberts made no mistake as he struck the ball sweetly between the uprights.
At 3-0 the Russians spurned a scoring opportunity as they were awarded a penalty in front of the posts. A delay in finding a kicking tee meant that the fly half had to attempt a drop goal which he pushed to the right of the posts.
The only other score of the half, and indeed the game, came from another penalty after twenty minutes as Roberts struck again.
In the second half neither team could find a way through vigorous defences as they chased the elusive try. The Russians came close on a number of occasions, especially near the end as the right winger Alexy Andreev used his pace to test the USA defence.
With the game so close nerves were fraught as both sides struggled to keep the ball in their hands, but despite a spirited Russian fight back it was USA who took the points from the game.
USA coach Will Thompson: “There was plenty of heart in our performance today, but we have to work on keeping the ball in our hands and putting points on the board.”
“Next time we will be looking to put in a more all round performance and hopefully that will make the finish less nerve wracking”
USA captain Scott Lavalla: “We are pleased that we got the win today despite the performance, at the end of the day a win is a win. The first game in the tournament is always the hardest, I broke my neck last year so I am just glad to get through the game and come away with the win.”