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Player of the Week: Jill Potter

  • 22 Feb 2016

Photo: World Rugby


The Player of the Week is Jill Potter. The USA Women’s 7s Eagle helped the team to a fourth-place finish at the Sao Paulo 7s last weekend. It was a big improvement from Dubai, where the Americans finished 11th, and the extra standings points pushed the Eagles into 8th place.


Several players performed well in Brazil – Alev Kelter is consistently strong and confident, and Jessica Javelet has really honed her role on the team. Potter is still in the middle of her comeback, but she so obviously lent some depth to the Eagles’ game.


Firstly, Potter was integral to the restarts. Even if the prop didn’t come down with the ball, she was getting her hands on it and disrupting the opposition’s clean handling of the kick. Most memorably, Potter reigned in a restart against Russia and got the pass off through traffic to Hunter Griendling, who finished off the steal with a try.


The USA leaned on its defense to get its offense going, and Potter was at the center of that push. She’s not the fastest player on the team, but she made a physical statement in the tackle and worked hard to get back on her feet. That hit on Australia’s Ellia Green was one to remember.


Potter did a good job with ball in hand as well. She found herself on the wing at times but didn’t hesitate in powering up the sideline for meters. She just needed some quick support to help recycle the ball to make those breaks count. The Eagles played New Zealand twice, and Potter scored the only try against the Kiwis in those two matches. In the first game, both sides were scrambling to adjust to a turnover ball, and Potter hit the perfect line for a flat pass and path to the try line. Against Russia, Potter showcased some nice ballhanding skills and tapped an errant pass of the ground to the on-rushing Kelter for the score.


Overall, Potter put in a great performance, and it was great to see her influence around the pitch. The USA showed promise in Brazil, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. Potter is a piece of that puzzle, and surely the team is happy to have her back.

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