The USA, disappointing throughout the 2019 Americas Rugby competition, needed a last-gasp try to escape with a 30-25 victory after a committed Canadian side pushed them to the brink on Friday.
While the table will record a bonus point win for the Eagles, their performance was again below expectations as they struggled to break through Canada’s defence.
The win nevertheless moved the USA into second place behind winners Argentina XV, but the Eagles can still be overtaken for second place in the competition that concludes on Saturday evening, SA time.
They are four log just four log points ahead of Uruguay, who will have a tough battle to beat Brazil on Saturday. However, to finish second on the log Uruguay need to win with a bonus point, without which they will have the same number of log points as the Eagles but with a far inferior (35 points) points differential.
Brazil will not be easy meat, however. They have already moved up on the World Rankings in the course of the 2019 Americas Cup and with a win over Uruguay could jump from 25th position to No 23, depending on the scoreline. That will out them below just below Canada (21st) and Namibia (22nd).
On Saturday champions Argentina XV will look to complete a grand slam of victories. Argentina XV have a perfect record of 20 points from 20 following bonus-point wins in the first four rounds and hold an unassailable seven-point lead over fellow South Americans Uruguay as they prepare to take on last-placed Chile in Santiago.