Las Sperientes of Mexico defeated the USA Rugby South all-star team 25-9 Saturday in Zacatenco, Mexico during the first round of the North America and Caribbean Rugby Association (NACRA) Rugby Championships.
"We knew it would be a very physical match, the United States are great players and physical,"said Mexico's Mauricio Ríos. "We endured the first 55 minutes and in the last 25 began our plan was to attack, and it worked. They began to tire and holes started to open."
In the early going the USA South squad dominated possession and territory but missed some opportunities to put some early tries in. USA South went into halftime up 6-0 with two penalty kicks.
In the second half, Mexico had the wind at their backs and did a better job of evening out the run of play. The South pressed to score the try they figured would give them the edge, but discipline faltered and it was Mexico that broke through for the firs try.
The reserves came on for the South, but it was not enough as the altitude caught up with the squad in the final 20 minutes. Mexico made two penalty kicks to go ahead 11-6, and then ran in two scores late as the South pushed to come back.
Team Mexico were excellent hosts for the South team, coached by Paul Barford, Dave Conyers, and Jody Hensley.
"The guys played with courage, with courage and also with skill," said Miguel Carner, president of the Mexican Rugby Federation. "I am very happy. The U.S. team is very good but they managed to win and to dream for now because we have to go against the winner of Jamaica and Cayman played next Saturday."
Mexico A also played on Saturday, defeating a side of resident ex-pats 33-29.