July 9, 2016
USA Women’s Rugby Collegiate All-Americans Fall to Canada Maple Leafs in Series Final
Photo: USA Collegiate All-Americans
The USA Women’s Rugby Collegiate All-Americans played the Canada Maple Leafs in the second match of the series on July 9th at Salt Lake City, Utah.
For the second match of the series, Sue Whitewell made 3 changes in the starting XV with Taylah Pipkin at flanker, Danielle Ordway at wing and Nicole Benedetti at fullback.Tess Feury, who played with the All-Americans July 5th, was called up as a reserve to the Women’s Eagles team that faces England later today.
Whitwell said “Tess’ selection with the national team is a huge indication that our pathway is working. To be a Collegiate All-American and know that it is a possibility to be moved up that quickly is a good sign that our programs are aligned, and we’re moving these young athletes through to their ultimate destination.”
Canada felt confident entering the match in scoring three tries during the first encounter. They also left two potential tries on the pitch.
Canada Head coach Dan Valley made six changes to the starting lineup as Brittany Kasali, Megan Copeland, Gillian Boag, Gabrielle Senft, Jess Neilson and Lisa Gauthier started the second match of the series.
USA Collegiate All-Americans v Canada Maple Leafs Match 2
Just like in the first match, the USA Collegiate All-Americans took an early 3-0 lead over Canada as Gabby Cantorna slotted a penalty kick three minutes into the match.
The lead did not last very long, as Jess Neilson tied the match with a penalty kick for the Maple Leafs. A minute later, Mackenzie Higgs offloaded the ball to Julia Goss for a 8-3 lead.
After another USA penalty, Lori Josephson took a quick tap and Sara Svoboda powered her way in for a try. This time Jess Neilson’s conversion was good and the Maple Leafs lead was 15-3.
At the 22nd minute, the Maple Leafs were penalized after a scrum to the USA and Gabby Cantorna added her second penalty kick to narrow Canada’s lead to 15-6.
Canada attacks continued as they entered the red zone on successive breaks by Fittes and Higgs. Within two minutes Senft swung the ball wide to the wing and Petra Woods added the third try for the Maple Leafs and a 20-6 lead. That lead would not change prior to halftime.
The second half started with Canada attacking. It took Julia Goss just two minutes to find a gap in the defense for her second try. Jess Nielson conversion attempt then hit the posts, but the Maple Leafs increased their lead to 25-6.
USA then had their best attack of the day as they went through several phases before being held up in-goal. Canada was then penalized for not releasing and Jennifer Johnson went over for a try, in what would be their only one of the match. Gabby Cantorna converted to narrow Canada’s lead to 25-13 at the 52nd minute.
Canada continued to increase pressure on the USA and Nielson slotted another penalty kick as the Maple Leafs margin went to 28-13. That seemed to leave the flood gates open as Sara Svoboda added her second try and Nielson converted for a 35-13 lead at the 63rd minute.
Nielson then added another penalty kick. The final score came from a pushover try by Svoboda for a hat trick with Nielson’s conversion good.
The final result was Canada Maple Leafs 45-13 over the Collegiate All-Americans. With the win, the Maple Leafs won both matches of the Series. In the first match on July 5th, the Canadian Maple Leafs emerged with a 15-10 win over the USA Rugby Women’s AIG Collegiate All-Americans.
USA Collegiate All-Americans: 1. Rebekah Hebdon 2. Bridget Kahele 3. Azniv Nalbandian 4. Jennifer Johnson (C) 5. Haley Schafer 6. Yeja Dunn 7. Taylah Pipkin 8. Ilona Maher 9. Kat Ramage 10. Gabby Cantorna 11. Danielle Ordway 12. McKenzie Hawkins 13. Sarah Buonpane 14. Uzo Okoro 15. Nicole Benedetti 16. Frieda Fetu’u 17. Francesca Sands 18. Kaityln Broughton 19. Megan Rom 20. Jessica Lewis 21. Bailey Johnson 22. Elizabeth Rose 23. Lanoira Duhart
USA Collegiate All-Americans: 1. Rebekah Hebdon 2. Bridget Kahele 3. Azniv Nalbandian 4. Haley Schafer 5. Jennifer Johnson (C) 6. Yeja Dunn 7. Frieda Fetu’u 8. Ilona Maher 9. Kat Ramage 10. Gabby Cantorna 11. Francesca Sands 12. McKenzie Hawkins 13. Sarah Buonpane 14. Uzo Okoro 15. Tess Feury 16. Nicole Benedetti 17. Danielle Ordway 18. Kaityln Broughton 19. Megan Ro 20. Jessica Lewis 21. Bailey Johnson 22. Taylah Pipkin 23. Lanoira Duhart 24. Katie Loughran 25. Elizabeth Rose 26. Ally Day
Coaching Staff: Sue Whitwell – Head Coach, Melanie Denham – Assistant Coach, James English – Assistant Coach, Lance Pruett – Manager
Canada Maple Leafs: 1. Brittany Kassil 2. Megan Copeland 3. Chelsey Minter 4. Camile Provençal-Aube 5. Daria Keane 6. Gillian Boag 7. Sara Svoboda 8. Gabrielle Senft 9. Lori Josephson (c) 10. Jess Neilson 11. Lisa Gauthier 12. Mackenzie Higgs 13. Julia Goss 14. Natasha Smith 15. Alanna Fittes 16. Kathleen Keller 17. Colleen Irowa 18. Simone Savory 19. Emma Taylor 20. Ngalula Fuamba 21. Justine Pelletier 22. Gillian Allen 23. Petra Woods
Maple Leafs Coaching Staff: Dan Valley- Rugby Canada Development Coach, Amy Stefaniuk- Therapist, Megan Lowry- Tour Manager
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