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USA Beat South Africa in England

  • 30 Mar 2024
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USA RUGBY – The USA Women’s Eagles started their 2024 season off with a 38-17 win against South Africa in their warmup match ahead of the Pacific Four Series. [Lead graphic c/o USA Rugby]

RELATED: Tickets to USA v Canada (Use “TRB” for 10% off)

In their first matchup in nearly 11 years, both teams had a chance to prove themselves. The Eagles would strike first right off kickoff, as Georgie Perris-Redding snatched a loose ball and dove over the try line within seconds.

From there, the USA struggled to find their connection through the majority of the first half, and they found themselves defending their own try line multiple times as South Africa held most of the possession. South Africa were dominant in the scrums, and several conceded penalties in the set piece will have the USA looking at what they can improve heading into next month.

The Eagles conceded quite a few penalties as South Africa controlled possession, but the squad remained patient on defense with good line speed, waiting for their chance to strike. South Africa made several attempts at a rolling maul score, but the Eagles were strong in defense. Finally, a kick by South Africa went to touch, and the Eagles found their next chance to prove lethality on attack beginning with a line out.

Off the set piece, Olivia Ortiz found a gap to skip through the middle of South Africa’s defensive line to gain some ground, and phase play brought the ball to Kate Zackary. The USA captain offloaded to Kathryn Treder for the second USA try of the match. The Eagles’ confidence grew from there as both teams worked hard to control the ball and keep their opponent out of scoring territory. The Eagles’ hard work to keep South Africa paid off, as they shut them out in the first half, heading into the final 40 minutes up 14-0.

South Africa kicked off the second half and worked to take back possession at a USA scrum. But Georgie Perris-Redding was ready to go, picking up the ball at a ruck and running down for another five points.

A USA knock on at the restart gave South Africa control, letting them succeed in their fourth attempt at a rolling maul score for their first points of the match. The Eagles remained composed as they quickly gelled together on attack. Olivia Ortiz’s quick decision-making to tap and go off a penalty sent the ball over to McKenzie Hawkins, who chipped the ball through down field, where Emily Henrich kept an eye on the bounce to tap and score.

With the score gap increasing, South Africa were beginning give away small mistakes and let the Eagles hold on to more attack opportunities. While South Africa continued to win back possession in scrums, a strong defensive presence by the USA put on pressure. Another loss of possession put the ball into Perris-Redding’s hands, who charged forward to gain ground. It was Hawkins again who found the opportunity to kick over defenders and right into Lotte Clapp’s hands on the wing for a big teamwork try.

With the clock ticking down, South Africa needed to play fast. Capitalizing on an overthrown ball at a USA line out, the Springbok Women charged over for their second try. Closing in again on the try zone, a high tackle call gave the USA another chance to slow down the game and go for a line out. A perfect throw put the squad into a rolling maul, and it was Perris-Redding who tapped it down for the final USA try, earning her a hat trick.

South Africa were hungry for the final say of the match, and they stayed patient with a long series of phase play that tired out both sides. But their work paid off, and they scored off a five-meter scrum in the corner to end the match.

The Eagles’ ability to find their connection with each other afforded them the win against South Africa, who controlled the ball for most of the first half. The team has a solid foundation they can build from as they prepare for their next matchup on home soil.

USA Roster v South Africa

Name Club Tournaments
1. Hope Rogers Exeter Chiefs 44
2. Kathryn Treder Loughborough Lightning 17
3. Keia Mae Sagapolu Leicester Tigers 7
4. Erica Jarrell Sale Sharks 6
5. Jenny Kronish Beantown RFC 13
6. Kate Zackary (C) Ealing Trailfinders 36
7. Georgie Perris-Redding Sale Sharks 11
8. Rachel Johnson (VC) Exeter Chiefs 26
9. Olivia Ortiz Exeter Chiefs 17
10. McKenzie Hawkins Colorado Grey Wolves 13
11. Lotte Clapp Saracens 14
12. Gabby Cantorna Exeter Chiefs 25
13. Bulou Mataitoga Loughborough Lightning 14
14. Emily Henrich Unattached 13
15. Tess Feury (VC) Leicester Tigers 23
16. Paige Stathopoulos Beantown RFC 5
17. Catie Benson Sale Sharks 41
18. Charli Jacoby Queensland Reds 25
19. Rachel Ehrecke Colorado Grey Wolves 11
20. Tahlia Brody Leicester Tigers 8
21. Cassidy Bargell Beantown RFC 1
22. Katana Howard Sale Sharks 18
23. Amanda Berta PR7s Experts 1

USA Traveling Staff

Head Coach | Sione Fukofuka
Assistant Coach | Ray Barkwill
Strength & Conditioning | Sylvia Braaten
Strength & Conditioning Intern | Craig West
Operations Director | Sara Al-Aziz
Physio | Susie Gill
Physio | Cerys Preston
Analyst | Caitlin Singletary
Analysis Intern | Jess Wooden
Performance Assistance | Adam Crossman
Team Doctor | Abbie Hamilton
Athletic Trainer | Emily Lauer
Media Manager | Calder Cahill
Liaison | Simon Wickham
World Rugby Coach | Mo Botha


USA v South Africa | March 30
38-17 (W)

2024 Pacific Four Series
USA v Canada | April 28
DignityHealth Sports Park | Los Angeles, CA
Tickets »

USA v New Zealand | May 10
FMG Stadium | Hamilton, New Zealand

USA v Australia | May 17
AAMI PARK | Melbourne, Australia

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