CROWTHORNE, U.K. – The second half of the USA Rugby Boy’s H.S. All-Americans versus England North U16s was all USA, but England North managed to get away with a 6-12 victory in the HSAAs’ second match of the Wellington College festival in Crowthorne.
A pair of Fitou Fisiiahi penalty kicks accounted for all of the All-Americans points in the encounter and two first half scores by England North was enough to give them the eventual edge.
England North must have taken notice of the HSAAs in their opener against Wales Under-16s on Saturday as the Englishmen had braced themselves for the punishing American scrums and game planned accordingly.
Inside center and HSAA captain, Fisiiahi, led by example slamming into the midfield defense and setting up go-forward ball for the HSAAs power runners. The All-Americans were able to stretch the defense against England North and showed an emerging mastery of basic but crucial attacking skills.
Putting backs into space and pressuring the English fringes well in the second half wasn’t quite enough in the end though, and England North prevailed.
A developmental tournament, the Wellington College competition is designed to allow players and teams to progress and the HSAAs did just that.
Despite the loss, a few scouts for a number of English academies found themselves drawn to the powerful American forwards, namely Titi Lamositele, Kelepi Fifita, and Lisala Kanongataa.
“The game was outstanding to watch but our boys were devastated they lost the chance to beat England North. The progress the boys have made over the past week has been tremendous,” said H.S. All-Americans Head Coach, Salty Thompson.
Thompson continued to say that the team dynamic is there. “They arrived a bunch of individuals and have molded into a very promising team. This ‘95 born U\under-17 group will be around for one to two more years of high school,” said the coach with the hope of keeping players in the program and helping to prepare them for the USA’s senior national teams.
The HSAAs will play Belgium Under-17s on Friday April 13 at 5 a.m. Mountain/7 a.m. Eastern in their last match of the tournament.
Penalties: Fisiiahi (2)
England North 12
USA Rugby High School All-Americans v. England North U16s
Player (Club; Hometown)
15 Allan Sakalia (East Palo Alto RFC; East Palo Alto, Calif.)
14 Jesse Mander (St. Paul's School - London; London, U.K.)
13 Billy Maggs (San Diego Mustangs; Del Mar, Calif.)
12 *Fitou Fisiiahi (Titans Rugby Club; Honolulu, Hawaii)
11 Aisea Tongilava (Wilson H.S./Belmont Shore; Santa Ana, Calif.)
10 Scott Dean (Liberty Rugby Football Club; Renton Wa.)
9 Alauna Helu (East Palo Alto Under-19s; Union City, Calif.)
1 Titi Lamositele (Chuckanut Bay; Bellingham, Wa.)
2 McCarthy Tonuao (Budd Bay RFC U19; Olympia, Wa.)
3 Bruce Yun (Wlison H.S./Belmont Shore; Long Beach, Calif.)
4 Stuart Harr (Chapin Eagles Rugby Club; Chapin, S.C.)
5 Bradley Luvender (Katy Barbarians; Katy, Texas)
6 Matteo Salvalaggio (Latymer Upper School; London, U.K.)
7 Hanco Germishuys (Nebraska; Omaha, Neb.)
8 Lisala Kanongataa (Titans Rugby Club; Honolulu, Hawaii)
Henry Baylor (Marin Highlanders; Ross, Calif.)
Brian Carley (Xavier H.S., New York City, N.Y.)
Josh Daif (St. Thomas Aquinas; Kansas City, Mo.)
Drew Gaffney (San Diego Mustangs; San Diego, Calif.)
Malcolm May (Ignatius RFC; Chicago, Ill.)
Reed Heynen (Wilson H.S./Belmont Shore; Long Beach, Calif.)
Matthew Masoe (Back Bay; Long Beach, Calif.)
Matthew Ruiters (Gonzaga H.S.; Washington D.C.)
Matt Ternan (Jesuit H.S.; Carmichael, Calif.)
Gavin Moscone (Piedmont International Touring Side; Piedmont, Calif.)
Samuel Cowley (Charlotte Catholic H.S. Rugby Club; Charlotte, N.C.)
Kelepi Fifita (Tempe Youth Rugby Club; Phoenix, Ariz.)
John Warnock (Peninsula Green; Lost Altos, Calif.)
Stratton Brown (Lowland Rugby; Bluffdale, Utah)
Michael Reid (Warrenton Wolfpack; Purcellville, Va.)