Mike Te’o on Saturday scored three tries to power the US over Canada 51-34, while defending champions Argentina routed hosts Chile 45-10 to stay atop the Americas Rugby Championship.
Argentina and the US Eagles each improved to 3-0, but Argentina stretched their scoring difference margin atop the table from five to 23 points in the Six Nations-styled event.
If both teams win next week, when the US visit Chile and Argentina entertain Brazil, the title will come down to a US visit to Argentina in the March 4 finale.
Uruguay downed Brazil 23-12 in Saturday’s other match.
In suburban Vancouver, Ryan Matyas made a 30m run for a try and Te’o split two defenders after a stolen line-out for another US try in the first five minutes before Shaun Davies added a penalty-kick for a 15-0 Eagles lead.
Taylor Paris and Philip Mack answered with tries to pull Canada within 15-12 before Will Magie and Robbie Povey exchanged penalty-kicks.
However, Canada captain Ray Barkwill was sent to the sin bin for an improper tackle in the 38th minute and the US struck seconds later, with Tony Purpura driving over from the maul and Davies converting to put the US in the lead 25-15 at halftime.
Povey missed the posts on a penalty early in the second half and the Eagles struck again with Canada still shorthanded, Magie’s kick to the corner being knocked backward by US winger Nate Augspurger and recovered by Te’o for a try and a 30-15 lead.
US captain Todd Clever scored a try when the maul drove over the line and Davies converted for a 37-15 lead.
Paris answered with an unconverted try for Canada three minutes later, but John Quill added a try for the Eagles in the 65th minute and Davies converted for a 44-20 US edge.
Canada reserve George Barton added a try, but Te’o responded to complete the hat-trick of tries for a 51-27 US advantage.
Canada’s Admir Cejvanovic scored a last try to trim the final margin.
At Chile, Argentina’s Bruno Devoto scored two tries as the visitors rolled to a 17-3 halftime edge and dominated the second half to keep the Condors winless.
Chile opened the scoring on a Jorge Castillo penalty, but Argentina captain Juan Cappiello answered with a try to put his squad ahead to stay.
Argentina’s Fernando Luna added a try to end the first half, while Juan Cruz Gonzalez kicked a penalty. Luna and Gonzalez each kicked three conversions as well.
Devoto, Nicolas Solveyra and Bautista Delguy added second-half tries for Argentina, while Rodrigo Fernandez produced the only Chile try.
Brazil jumped ahead 6-5 early at Uruguay, Moises Duque sandwiching penalty-kicks around captain Juan Gaminara’s unconverted try for hosts the Teros.
However, tries from Ignacio Dotti in the 17th minute and Alejandro Nieto in the 40th boosted Uruguay ahead 15-6 at halftime.
Duque lifted Brazil within a converted try on a 43rd-minute penalty, but Santiago Arata’s try in response three minutes later boosted Uruguay’s lead to 20-9 before penalties created the final margin.