43 min. Lasike and Scully both get a run with the ball in the Argentia half and straught away it looks better. The ball is kicked away and Delguy goes on a magnificently brilliant run across his own line, under the post then out, steps past Lasike and away for 60 metres before kicking it on. USA can do nothing but hack it out.
Video: Preview: USA trying to inspire the nation at Rugby World Cup
MacGinty sends it up to the Argentina 22 and the USA are very close to regathering, but its a knock on.
The game kicks off at 1.45pm JST local time – thats a 1.45am AST start for Argentina fans watching from home and a 12.45am ET and 9.45pm PT (Wednesday night) kick-off for folk tuning in from the USA.
Each time the USA have used their carriers Argentina have struggled, and Gary Gold should hammer home to them in the next 10 minutes that they must do this more. Repeatedly kicking the ball back to Los Pumas backline is inviting nothing but a negative loop of pacy trouble and defensive penalties leading to more pacy trouble and defensive penalties. Break that cycle and the Eagles could make this closer in the second half.
Argentina have done what they needed to, but theyve also not put together two halves of rugby in the tournament yet so theres every chance they could feel the pressure in the next forty.
40 mins. MacGinty finally feeds Lasike to carry, who get over the line and offloads back to MacGinty who dinks a lovely grubber through on the angle and Scully is first to it in the right corner.
38 mins. MacGinty is repeatedly having to take contact in possession because the USAs attacking alignment has all the depth of an episode of Made In Chelsea plotline. Gary Gold is a well-respected coach, but he seems to have this incredibly wrong and needs to correct it quickly. MacGinty sums up the USA half by missing touch with a penalty kick.
35 mins. Argentina use the possession to carry strongly back into the Argentina 22 and USA inevitably infringe again in a desperate defensive effort, this time for off-feet. Argentina go for the corner and go again with a few drives before they send the ball right and its that man Tuculet again. Sanchez misses the conversion.
This is pretty ruthless stuff from Argentina, and you have to say USA are being pretty bone-headed and making it easier than necessary.
31 mins. USA are on the attack in the Argentina half and Teo spots the big pass is on out left for Marcel Brache, but the winger cant grip it and once again the USA give the ball back to the opposition
29 mins. Dolan confidently climbs to slap the Argentina lineout back to his own team, a good steal, but USA kick it away again and get lucky as Los Pumas are off their feet.
26 mins. USA have to keep the ball away from Argentina and its essential they score next. Los Pumas look vulnerable defending and the Eagles need to test that more.
24 mins. Follwing the penalty, Nicolas Sanchez does a speculative chip into the USA 22, exposing the USAs lack of a sweeper, the bounce is a heartbreaker for the covering Teo as it takes the ball away from him and into the in-goal area for the onrushing Tuculet to jump on.
22 mins. USA are pinged for offside again. Their gameplan is puzzling, they are making good ground when they keep possession but are instead choosing to boot the ball away a lot, then compounding this issue with dogleg chases and poor discipline
19 mins. Argentina have a ruck on halfway, Sanchez holds and pops it to Mallia on a lovely out to in line and the centre is in open pasture before popping to Sanchez in support. Teo does his best but the fly-half is in in the right corner.
16 mins. Sanchez has his clearing kick charged down and his team regather and decide to try and run it from the 22 than trust him again. Juan Cruz Mallia is through but as he tries to feed Carreras to give him a one on one with fullback Teo, Blaine Scully gets up in Carreras grill and its a knock on. USA kick the ball back to Los Pumas
14 mins. USA have some phases around halfway, with Lasike, who has returned with a big bandage on his head, prominent with his carrying. Possession is traded through some kicks before a huge USA counter-ruck sees Bryce Campbell free up the right. Hes very close to going all the way to the line but is hauled down. USA recycle but imprecision by MacGinty allows Tuculet to jump on the ball in his own 22.
Ezcurra picks and goes from the base of the scrum and absolutely smashes and runs over Teo with his carry. He runs into the post but rolls around and grounds it. It looks a try, but theres been a bit of holding spotted in the backplay with Lamborn being held in the scrum by Matera, preventing him breaking off to make the tackle. No try, penalty USA
9 mins. Absolutely solid lineout from Los Pumas on the right touchline and they are swarming towards the Eagles line. The USA defensive line does its job but theyre a little too eager in the end and are called offside.
Argentina take the scrum in the shadow of the USA posts. Interesting call as the USA pack looked OK in the first scrum a few minutes ago.
7 mins. Quick as a flash, Argentina go the length of the field, working the ball to the right into the arms of Delguy who sprints into the USA 22. The winger goes for and in-out step, which would have done Teo at fullback, but Delguy falls over with the line open! Its worked from the tackle and USA infringe. Its in the corner for a USA lineout.
5 mins. Solid scrum from USA and they go wide from first phase to the new man Iosefo. Its recycled and the forwads go to work on the Argentina 22 line, its looking promising but a Puma clamps on at breakdown to nick it.
2 mins. Argentina are working it through phases around halfway, after nine efforts they go not very far at all. USA are accidentally offside in their first possession but Los Pumas have knocked on previously and so its an Eagles scrum. Everything happening on the halfway line in the opening minutes.
Schoolkids in the crowd are absolutely belting out both anthems, which is equal parts lovely and eerie. Like Children Of The Corn 3: The Rugby.
One of the USA lads, and I cant pinpoint which mouth its coming out of, has a genuinely lovely and soulful voice, by the way.
A very strong kit game from both teams. Argentinas shirt is as lovely as their form is terrible and USA have a strong two tone block navy and white on the go. Are these the best two kits in the tournament? Im saying yes.
Of course, in 80 mins or so theyll officially be the best two kits not in the tournament, but lets not dwell on that.
The Argentina vs USA game build up has been on the TV for 15 minutes and the panel has mentioned this actual game a sum total of – *presses equals on calculator*- zero times. Zero. Nothing. Not a sausage.
Weve had Scotland, Russia, a woman attending a sumo bar, and now we have Shane Williams giving it his full reverse personality delivery about Wales vs Fiji later.
As we hurtle towards the final round of pool matches like Nicolas Sanchez towards a poor game management decision, you can check out where everything is up to with our handy fixtures, tables and results page.
Argentina are without their, er, overly motivated lock Lavinini, the Leicester bound man is banned for playing timpany drum on the head of Owen Farrell with his shoulder – Matias Alemanno replaces him. This could also be the final international appearance for Juan Manuel Leguizamon, the veteran and surprise selection for this tournament who made his RWC debut on Noahs Ark in 2007.
Former Chicago Bear and current Harlequins centre, Paul Lasike is in midfield for the Eagles while Ruben de Haas gets his first start at scrum-half on the same day he turns 21. The Cheetahs man was impressive when he entered the fray vs France and his partnership with the experienced AJ MacGinty could be the key to a giving the USA a shot here. If they can put some pressure on the sometimes comically flaky Pumas half-backs then who knows what might happen.
Argentina: Joaquin Tuculet; Bautista Delguy, Juan Cruz Mallia, Jeronimo de La Fuente, Santiago Carreras; Nicolas Sanchez, Felipe Ezcurra; Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Julian Montoya, Santiago Medrano, Guido Petti, Matias Alemanno, Pablo Matera (capt), Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Rodrigo Bruni.
Replacements: 16 Agustin Creevy, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Enrique Pieretto Heiland, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Tomas Lezana, 21 Gonzalo Martin Bertranou, 22 Benjamin Urdapilleta, 23 Matías Moroni.
USA: Mike Teo; Blaine Scully (capt), Bryce Campbell, Paul Lasike, Marcel Brache; AJ MacGinty, Ruben de Haas; Eric Fry, Joe Taufetee, Titi Lamositele, Nate Brakeley, Greg Peterson, Tony Lamborn, Hanco Germishuys, Cam Dolan.
Replacements: 16 Dylan Fawsitt, 17 Olive Kilifi, 18 Paul Mullen, 19 Ben Landry, 20 Ben Pinkelman, 21 Nate Augspurger, 22 Will Hooley, 23 Martin Iosefo.
While youre sat there reading this why not email me with your thoughts or even tweet me. Lets be honest, youve probably got at least two things to get off your chest and Ill take anything. Why not tell me how your commute is going? How close are you to going full Falling Down on the bus because someone within earshot is not only eating, but doing so with their mouth open?
If the 2019 Rugby World Cup was a wedding, these middle rounds of the pool stage would be the part of the day when the meal has been consumed, everyone is a bit merry but flagging after the brandy and the guest are milling about a bit bored while the hotel staff transform the function room ready for the nights band and disco. Everyone is still enjoying themselves dont get me wrong, and its still a great day and all that, but there is definitely the feeling that we need the insertion of energy that only the DJ playing September by Earth, Wind and Fire can bring. We all look to Argentina and the USA to be the 120bpm injection we all need.
Argentinas tournament has been wretched. Other than a patch against France, they have misfired in attack, miscommunicated at set piece and misplaced their usual World Cup bring it attitude. However, while their malaise in this tournament appears to have set in with the permanence of Tomás Lavaninis penchant for red cards, Los Pumas have never lost to the USA and it will take quite the effort from the Eagles to overturn the 8-0 record in Argentinas favour.
As well as a first ever win over this opposition, USA are also chasing a target of finishing third in the pool for the first time in their history. Rugby is on the up in the States – Major League Rugby is gearing up for its third season in January 2020 – and a win against Argentina would do a job for this team and for the game as a whole. The trouble is, USA have so far looked about as able to deliver such a win as Joe Taufetee coming in first prize at a Donald Trump lookalike competition.
If they somehow deliver a victory when the final whistle goes, no doubt their celebration would put any wedding to shame.