In Olympic Return of Men's Rugby, US Loses to Argentina 17-14 but Blows Out Brazil 26-0

Rugby returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1924

One out of two.

Not bad.

The U.S. men’s Olympic rugby team began its nearly century-old defense of its Olympic gold medal by splitting their first two games of the 2016 Games as play opened on Tuesday.

The squad lost its first pool match on the final play against Argentina, which won 17-14. But the Americans rebounded later in the day with a 26-0 rout of Brazil in the second game.

Madison Hughes recorded six points in the win over Brazil. Carlin Isles, Folau Niua Maka Unufe and Nate Ebner each added five points.

The U.S. men’s rugby team is the defending Olympic champions — even though that last gold medal came nearly a century ago.

Rugby has returned to the Olympics for the first time since 1924, and America is represented by a fun, ragtag team featuring a former track sprinter (Isles), an NFL safety (Ebner) and captained by a UK expat (Hughes).

Known as the “fastest man in rugby”, Isles was originally a college football player and then a professional sprinter. Isles kept his Olympic aspirations afloat by switching to rugby in 2012 after watching footage of the sport on the Internet.

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