Sunday, May 1, 2016

Cima Kicks All-Americans To Victory

Press Release

Fly-half Ben Cima held his nerve to snatch victory for the USA with the final kick of the match, nailing a penalty from just inside the Uruguay half to punish their opponent’s ill-discipline.

Cima, who had tied the scores with a penalty two minutes earlier, raised one finger in salute as the kick sailed between the posts before being mobbed by his relieved team-mates.

The match had appeared to be over when USA knocked on metres from the Uruguay line, but a flag from the assistant referee for a punch to the face by Federico Bruno saw the replacement sent off.

It was Uruguay who had opened the scoring when full-back Luis Zeballos raced down the touchline at Harare Sports Club after only six minutes.

The lead lasted only a few minutes as USA captain Hanco Germishuys continued his impressive form with his eighth try of the tournament, the number eight charging through Martin Fitipaldo to run round under the posts to give Cima an easy conversion.

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Uruguay hit back immediately as some more good handling and passing out of the tackle took them close to the USA line, second-row Lorenzo Surraco driving forward before flanker Sebastian Pfeiff got the ball down.

The score remained at 14-8 for 10 minutes until Cima and full-back Mitch Wilson combined well for the fly-half to take the return pass and score the Junior All-Americans’ second try. His conversion came back off the post to leave the scores tied.

Just before the half-hour mark USA hit the front again, a quickly taken tap penalty took them within inches of the line and the ball was quickly recycled out to flanker Malon Al-Jiboori, who was too powerful to be stopped, despite the presence of two defenders.

Cima pulled the conversion wide and his missed tackle on Pfeiff then allowed the flanker to burst through the defence and send scrum-half Lucas Duran over, Felipe Etcheverry’s conversion the final act of a frenetic first half of end to end action.

Uruguay’s lead grew to 30-20 within minutes of the restart, a good break by centre Guillermo Williamson almost coming to nothing when he threw a wild pass out of the tackle, but Fitipaldo gathered and went over for Los Teritos.

Tempers flared in the aftermath and referee Ricardo Sant'Anna sent both Fitipaldo and USA centre Brian Hannon to the sin-bin before Etcheverry’s conversion. They were soon joined by Surraco, but the USA weren’t able to make their man advantage count.

The score remained that way until the 69th minute with both sides guilty of trying to force things and ill-discipline, but then Germishuys tapped a five-metre penalty and was stopped just short, the ball taking a long time to come back before Cima sent centre Ducan van Schalkwyk through the gap to make the score 30-26. Cima added the extras and then came up trumps twice more in a thrilling finale.

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