Women’s Eagles Beat Italy to Open Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017
Photo: INPHO/ Brian Keane
The USA Women’s Eagles beat Italy in the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup opener for both teams on August 8 at the UCD Bowl in Dublin, Ireland.
The Women’s Eagles will play Spain on Sunday, August 13 at 9:45 a.m. ET at the UCD Bowl and then England on Thursday, August 17 at 9:30 a.m. ET at Billings Park UCD in Dublin. After Pool play concludes the knockouts will take place on August 22 and 26 in Belfast, Ireland.
World Rugby is live streaming the entire tournament on the event’s official website, however tomorrow’s game between the USA and Italy will be geo-blocked in the U.S. Fans in America have an opportunity to watch the game live via NBC Sports Gold’s Rugby Pass – a subscription-based package that will make all three of the Eagles’ pool matches available to watch live.
The USA took a 7-0 lead two minutes into the match as Kristin Thomas fended multiple defenders crossing the line and centering the ball for an easier conversion by Kimber Rozier.
At the 20th minute Kimber Rozier found a gap for a try. Her conversion then bounced off the posts, but the USA increased their lead to 12-0.
Italy’s Lucia Cammarano mauled her way over the line, but was injured in the process and needed to be replaced. Veronica Schiavon added the conversion to narrow the lead to 12-7. After attacks by both sides, at the break it was 12-7.
During the first half, the Eagles dominated possession and territory, but handling errors prevented them from adding points in the red zone.
Errors continued to plague the USA during the first ten minute of the second half. The insertion of Alev Kelter paid dividends, as she ran to within 5 meters of the line, before Kristen Thomas finished the attack with a try for a 17-7 lead. Kimber Rozier’s conversion hit the crossbar.
After a break by Kristen Thomas, Abby Gustaitis added a try on her first touch of the ball at the 62nd minute and Alev Kelter converted for a 24-7 lead, also adding a match bonus point.
With less than four minutes remaining int he match, Kristen Thomas was cited with a yellow card for an intentional knock on after an interception attempt. Italy answered right away after the penalty with a try from a maul, as Elisa Giordano grounded the ball to narrow the lead to 24-12.
Italy threatened again in the waning seconds, but their attack was repelled and the Eagles earned a 24-12 bonus point win to tie England in the Pool standings with 5 points.
USA Women’s Eagles flanker, Sara Parsons was named Player of the Match.
The Eagles will play Spain on Sunday, August 13 at 9:45 a.m. ET at the UCD Bowl, while Italy will take on England at 9:30am ET at Billings Park, UCD.
USA Women’s Eagles: 1 Catherine Benson 2 Kathryn Augustyn 3 Tiffany Faaee (C) 4 Stacey Bridges 5 Alycia Washington 6 Sara Parsons 7 Kate Zackary 8 Jordan Gray 9 Devin Owsiany 10 Kimber Rozier 11 Kris Thomas 12 Sylvia Braaten 13 Nicole Heavirland 14 Naya Tapper 15 Cheta Ember 16 Sam Pankey 17 Naima Reddick 18 Hope Rogers 19 Abby Gustaitis 20 Kristine Sommer 21 Kayla Canett 22 Alev Kelter 23 JJ Lavelet
Italy: 1 Elia Cucchiella 2 Lucia Cammarano 3 Melissa Bettoni 4 Flavia Severin 5 Alice Trevisan 6 Isabella Locatelli 7 Elisa Giordano 8 Silvia Gaudino 9 Sara Barattin (C) 10 Veronica Schiavon 11 Maria Magatti 12 Sofia Stefan 13 Maria Cioffi 14 Michela Sillari 15 Manuela Furlan 16 Marta Ferrari 17 Lucia Gai 18 Sara Tounesi 19 Valeria Fedrighi 20 Ilaria Arrighetti 21 Beatrice Rigoni 22 Paola Zangirolami 23 Veronica Madia
USA Women’s Eagles Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 Coaching Staff
Pete Steinberg – Head Coach
Peter Baggetta – Associate Head Coach
Richie Walker – Assistant Coach
Liz Kirk – Assistant Coach
Richard Ashfield – Assistant Coach
Ian Gibbons – Head of Physical Performance
Katie Gloyer – Physician
Michelle Look – Physician
Amy Valenta – Physiotherapist
Sarah Leslie – Physiotherapist
Bri Arsenault – Physiotherapist
Caitlin Singletary – Video Analyst
Julie Sutcliffe – Sports Psychologist
Amie Kern – Assistant Manager & Massage Therapist
Roshna Wunderlich – Manager
USA Women’s Eagles Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017
v. Italy – W24-12 Wednesday, Aug. 9
v. Spain – Sunday, Aug. 13 @ 9:45 a.m. ET
v. England – Thursday, Aug. 17 @ 9:30 a.m. ET
Semifinals – Tuesday, Aug. 22
Finals – Saturday, Aug. 26