Canada defeated Argentina in dramatic fashion Sunday to win the Gold Medal at the 2011 Pan American Games at Estadio Tlaquepaque in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The Canadians were behind much of the match, but in true, dogged style, pulled ahead. With time up, Argentina scored a try that could have tied it, but the difficult conversion sailed wide, and Canada celebrated a thrilling 26-24 victory.
Argentina led early, but the Canadians answered, with Nathan Hirayama hitting a brilliantly-taken conversion from the sideline to lock the scores at 7-7. Las Pumas scored again to take the lead 12-7, but then Taylor Paris dodged and weaved his way toward the line, and just before being thrown into touch, passed inside to John Moonlight. That tied the score, and moments later, with Argentina trying to get out of their own end, Connor Trainor intercepted a pass to go in under the posts.
That made it 19-12, but Argentina replied through Manuel Montero, who was smart enough to curl around under the posts. 19-19.
Then Trainor did it again. This time it was a lineout throw, but the result was the same. He snagged the throw and raced in virtually untouched. Hirayama was good on the kick again, and it was 26-19.
With time up, Argentina had one more shot to force overtime, and almost made it.
In a truly exciting finale to an outstanding tournament, Canada are Gold Medalists, Argentina gets the Silver, USA Bronze.
Tries: Moonlight 2, Trainor 2
Convs: Hirayama 3
Tries: Ascarate, Cuneo, Luccheti, Moyano
Convs: Gutierrez 2