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USA Finishes Super Series 1-3

  • 15 Jul 2019
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Photo: David Barpal for USA Rugby

USA RUGBY – The USA Women’s Eagles have fallen to France in a harsh 53-14 loss to conclude Super Series 2019 at Torero Stadium in San Diego, Calif.

Simple mistakes and errors in ball handling allowed France to make use of their skillful kicking game and dominate possession through the second half. While the Eagles managed to put two tries on the board at the tail end of the game, the gap on the scoreboard was too much to chase.

“I think we showed at times we could really put the ball into better space and challenge France, especially in that first 20 minutes,” said Head Coach Rob Cain. “But, we’re frustrated. We didn’t play the type of rugby that we wanted to and our core skills really weren’t where they could have been. But like I explained to the players, we need to put it in context. We’ve made great strides over this tournament and it’s just a shame that we’re going to be leaving a little frustrated after our performance today.”

Through the first twenty minutes, the USA managed to hold play at their own 22 with France attacking continuously through a flurry of penalties. Multiple stoppages on both sides forced a string of set piece plays which circumvented momentum on both sides. 

After kicking one penalty in the 10th minute and another in the 24th, France got an attacking edge and pushed the ball into the try zone on a maul, 0-13.

By the end of the first half, the opposition were employing a masterful kicking game which, while giving moments of possession back to the United States, still favored France due to errors in attack.

With an attempted box kick by Ashlee Byrge, looking to relieve defensive pressure at the breakdown, the French blocked the kick, recovered the ball and ran away with another try to make it 20-0 at halftime.

After the break, France quickly added two tries to their docket by way of a chip kick to the corner with no U.S. defenders in sight and another from a five meter scrum.

Where the USA did well to maintain possession at the beginning of the game, France managed to take full control the second half. Penalties and small errors continued to put the Eagles behind, as did open spaces which France thoroughly exploited.

With the French up 34 points by the 64th minute, the United States started to show life in its own attack. Stacey Bridges – who earned her 40th cap with the Eagles today – made an exciting run until the USA were stopped at five meters on a forward pass.

Then, a few meters cleared by Jennine Duncan thrusted defenders aside as Alev Kelter brought it home on the wing to finally end the shutout, 7-34. France answered back multiple times to bring their side up before Charli Jacoby forced her way over the tryline while deep inside a ruck to score her first national team try at fulltime, 14-53.

The USA Women’s Eagles are clearly disappointed by the loss knowing how hard they’ve worked and how capable they are on any given day. Regardless of the result today and any other scoreline either for or against the group this tournament, the purpose of Women’s Rugby Super Series and the experience gained in facing the top four teams in the world is invaluable.

It will take a collection of challenging losses and victorious moments – small or substantial – for the United States women to continue its climb to Rugby World Cup New Zealand 2021. After concluding the tournament with eight new caps and several other young players earning added appearances, the U.S. will enter a review and reflection period before returning later this year. 

New Zealand were the ultimate Champions of Women’s Rugby Super Series beating England in the first match of the day to claim the title and retain their No. 1 world ranking.

USA STARTERS

1. Hope Rogers – USA Sevens (28)

2. Joanna Kitlinski – Glendale (11)

3. Nick James – Houston Athletic (9)

4. Nicole Strasko – Life West (4)

5. Stacey Bridges – Beantown (39)

6. Rachel Johnson – Oregon Sports Union (4)

7. Joyce Taufa – Lindenwood University (5)

8. Kate Zackary (C) – San Diego (12)

9. Ashlee Byrge – USA Sevens (3)

10. Gabriella Cantorna – Glendale (5)

11. Jennine Duncan – Seattle (3)

12. Amy Talei Bonte – Life West (3)

13. Emily Henrich – Dartmouth (5)

14. Neariah Persinger – Unattached

15. Alev Kelter – USA Sevens (12)

RESERVES

16. Catie Benson – Life West (20)

17. Charli Jacoby – Chicago North Shore (3)

18. Katy Augustyn – Berkeley (34)

19. Asinate Serevi – Scion (4)

20. Kristine Sommer – Harlequins (ENG)/Seattle (10)

21. Olivia Ortiz -Davenport University (3)

22. Bui Baravilala – San Diego (8)

23. Kris Thomas – USA Sevens (10)

STAFF

General Manager | Emilie Bydwell Head Coach | Rob CainAssistant Coach | Jamie BurkeAssistant Coach | Kate DaleyAssistant Coach Rich Ashfield Coach/Team Manager | Jenny LuiHead of Physical Performance | Ian JonesHead Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner Team Doctor | Terrence CroninHead Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry Athletic Trainer | Danielle Allen

USA WOMEN’S EAGLES RESULTS

Round Onevs England | 5-38 (L)

Round Twovs New Zealand | 0-33 (L)

Round Four vs Canada | 20-18 (W)

Round Fivevs France | 53-14 (L)

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