Raptors Grab Bonus Point in Home Finale Loss to Peñarol

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American Raptors vs. Penarol - A rugby player in a black and yellow uniform being tackled by an opponent in a blue kit during a match.

The American Raptors finished up their 2024 home season with a 24-17 loss to Peñarol in Round 10 on Sunday afternoon.

Despite building up a 10-0 lead in the first half, the Raptors (2-7) were sluggish coming out of the halftime break and Peñarol (3-5) made them pay.

The match couldn’t have started much better for the Raptors. They jumped out to an early lead when fullback Rufus McLean wrangled in a Jacob Hidalgo kick for a try in the third minute of the match. 

Playing with a 7-0 lead, the Raptors made timely stops in their own zone to protect the shutout. Their hard work paid off early in the match, leading to three Ignacio Mieres penalty goals inside the first 30 minutes. Mieres drilled his third attempt to give the Raptors a 10-0 first-half lead.

American Raptors vs. Penarol - A rugby player in a red scrum cap is tackled by two opponents from the opposing team during a sunny game.

Just as it looked as if the Raptors were going to take a 10-0 lead into the halftime break, Peñarol hooker Francisco García rode a maul in for their first try of the match to give the visitors some life. The Raptors took a 10-5 lead into the half.

Peñarol jumped all over the Raptors early in the second half. Number eight Carlos Deus got the scoring started with a pick-and-go try in the 50th minute to take their first lead of the match.

Just as it has the entire season, the penalties came back to bite the Raptors again in Round 10. Facundo Pomponio was handed a red card In the 51st minute, and Peñarol made the Raptors pay for it. 

The visitors rattled off two more tries in the next 10 minutes to take a commanding 24-10 lead with just under 20 minutes remaining in the match. That was just enough to put the match out of reach for the Raptors.

The Raptors had one last gasp of air in their lungs. Peñarol coughed up the ball as they were stringing together phases deep in Raptor territory to put the final nail in the coffin. Scrumhalf John LeFevre gathered the ball out wide and beat five Peñarol defenders before finding fly-half Ignacio Mieres in support on an offload to score the coast-to-coast try to sneak back into the match. 

American Raptors vs. Penarol - Rugby player in red and blue uniform running with the ball, closely chased by an opponent in yellow and black, during a dynamic match moment.

Mieres nailed the conversion to cut the lead to seven points, giving the Raptors a chance to tie things up with a few minutes to play.

The Raptors wouldn’t get the final chance to tie things up. Peñarol fullback Ignacio Álvarez attempted a penalty goal at the final whistle that would’ve prevented the Raptors from securing a bonus-point loss, but he pushed the attempt wide.

Peñarol picked up five points in the table with the bonus point victory to keep within five points of Selknam for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Raptors now have 11 points in the table but are slowly losing sight of the final playoff spot after dropping four-straight matches.

After finishing up their six-match homestand with a 2-4 record, the Raptors will attempt to make one final push for the final playoff spot with three more matches in South America. Unfortunately for the Raptors, they will need some help.

American Raptors vs. Penarol - Two rugby players from opposing teams leap to catch the ball during a lineout, one in yellow and one in blue, with spectators in the background.

The Raptors will return to action after a bye week in Round 12 against Cobras Brasil on Saturday, May 11th in São Paolo, Brazil. The match is scheduled to kickoff at 11 AM MT, and will be broadcast on ESPN+.

American Raptors

Tries
Rufus McLean, Ignacio Mieres

Conversions
Ignacio Mieres (2/2)

Penalty Goals
Ignacio Mieres (1/3)

Peñarol

Tries
Francisco García, Carlos Deus, Ignacio Álvarez, Santiago Álvarez

Conversions
Juan Andres Zuccarino (1/3), Ignacio Álvarez (1/1)

Penalty Goals
Ignacio Álvarez (0/1)

Come watch our 2024 season finale with us at the @dnvrbar at noon on Saturday!
Fans in attendance can pick up exclusive giveaway items and will be entered to win a pair of VIP tickets to the 12th annual RugbyTown 7s in August!
We can't wait to see you there!
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Snaps from our Round 1️⃣3️⃣ clash with Yacare XV presented by @co_school_healing_arts 
We will wrap up our season on Saturday against Selknam
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We're tied up at the half!
Catch the second half live by hitting the link in our bio!
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