Canada and USA dominate Churchill openers
June 6, 2010
Takudzwa Ngwenya was on the score sheet for the USA © Getty Images
Canada outpaced and overpowered Uruguay to ease to victory in the opening match of the Churchill Cup at Glendale, Colorado. Uruguay managed a three point penalty kick in each half for their only scoring.
Chauncey O'Toole, Canada's highly touted blind side flanker, opened the scoring with a try on 12 minutes before six foot-seven inch forward Luke Tait added a second to put Canada 14 - 3 up at the break.
Winger Justin Mensah-Coker, making his 20th appearance for Canada, opened the second half scoring and fullback James Pritchard showed an electric turn of pace to put the game beyond Uruguay. Substitute Matt Evans added a bonus point try to put the cap on a dominant display.
The win marks Canada's sixth win against Uruguay, having only lost in 2002 in the hostile environment of Montevideo, 25-23.
The USA started their match against Russia slowly before an impressive second-half burst saw the Eagles ease to a 39-22 victory in their first Test for over six months.
Russia opened the scoring with a penalty in the opening minute before Russian fullback Vasily Artemyev ran in a try to put his team up 5-0 after ten minutes.
Louis Stanfill pulled the USA level with a try and Nese Malifa converted to put the hosts ahead for the first time before Russia again pulled ahead with a penalty. The lead did not last long, however, as a Chris Wyles converted try straight from the re-start made it 14-8. But it was Russia who had the final say before the break, a converted try of their own making it 15-14 to the visitors at half-time.
Russia extended their advantage to 22-17 early in the second half, but that was as good as it got as tries from Patrick Danahay, Chris Wyles and Biarritz's Takudzwa Ngwenya helped the Eagles clinch their first Churchill Cup pool win in seven years.
England Saxons face Russia on Wednesday followed by games between France A and Uruguay. The USA Eagles play England on Sunday, June 13.
Ireland coach Joe Schmidt won the tactical battle and set his team on course for a shot at the Grand Slam. Tom Hamilton reports from Dublin
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