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England 12-10 USA in Glendale

  • 20 Oct 2018

Ilona Maher en route to a try / Alex Ho photo

England defeated the USA 12-10 during the teams opening game of the HSBC World Rugby USA Women 7s tournament. The Eagles will now regroup for China and then New Zealand to end the day.

The USA laid the pressure on thick early in the match. Ilona Maher planted a memorable tackle along the sideline, and although the ballcarrier technically lost her boot before the hit, it was a “de-cleating” collision. Maher has earned a position as a starter, graduating from Rugby World Cup 7s breakout, to 7s resident in Chula Vista, and minutes later broke away for the Eagles’ first try, 5-0.

England answered back as Emily Scarratt stalled the sideline defense and then fed Emma Uren for the centered try, which Holly Aitchison converted 7-5.

It looked like the Eagles were going to miss out on a good scoring opportunity, as the first to two lineouts sailed over the top, but an excellent turn-around tackle from Naya Tapper prevented the breakaway. The USA took a scrum and moved it wide, and the crowd audibly approved the strategy of finding Tapper, who busted 40 meters to the corner to outrace the defense, 10-7 into the break.

The Eagles started well in the second half but another missed opportunity after the lineout turned into good phases from England and play back in the USA’s end. English pressure in the red zone and penalties hurt the Eagles, as the home side tried to get out of its end.

Stephanie Rovetti took the pitch for her first USA 7s cap and celebrated with a long break to the 50 meter. Ellie Kildunne, who has played for Atlantis, tracked her down, and then Rovetti returned the favor when a kick ahead nearly turned into an England try.

Finally, however, an offsides penalty at the scrum and then another penalty in front of the posts gave Kildunne the space out wide for the winning try at the death, 12-10. It was the third-straight game that a try was scored at the buzzer, but this one made the difference on the scoreboard.

#USA7s #Glendale7s

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