Eagles Beat Spain, Look for Semi-Final Spot at #WRWC2017

August 14, 2017
Eagles Beat Spain, Look for Semi-Final Spot at #WRWC2017

MissColleenRugbyPics Alev Kelter.jpg

Photo: Miss Colleen Rugby Pics

Doug Coil

The USA Women’s Eagles beat Spain 43-0 in the second Pool B match of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 at the UCD Bowl in Dublin and are now 2-0 with 10 points. England, who the USA will play on Thursday, are also 2-0 with 10 points. In the first round, the USA beat Italy 24-12, while England beat Spain 56-5.

On Thursday, August 17, the 6th ranked USA will face the #1 England at Billings Park UCD in Dublin at 14:30 local, 9:30am ET.  The match will be streamed live for viewed outside of USA and England on http://www.rwcwomens.com. In the USA, the watch may be watched live with a NBC Sports Gold’s Rugby Pass.

The winner of the match on Thursday will advance to the Semi-Finals, as the Pool B first place team, while the loser will need to be the top ranked second place team. Pool winners will be determined on Thursday as New Zealand with 10 points plays Canada with 9 and France with 10 points plays Ireland with 8. Should both New Zealand and France win their matches, then both the USA and England would advance to the Semi-Finals, unless Canada could secure a losing bonus point if the match against the Black Ferns was within 7 points.

On Thursday, #3 ranked Canada and #2 ranked New Zealand play the first match and the result will be known when the second match of the day, USA versus England begins. Determining the teams in the Semi-Finals still will come down to the final match of the day, when #4 ranked France and #5 ranked Ireland meet.

USA v Spain Recap

The USA beat Spain 43-0 on Sunday as they dominated possession and territory. That, and their team speed and stifling defense took Spain out of the match in the second half. Penalties continue to plague the USA and will need to be minimized when they play England on Thursday.

The USA placed Spain under pressure right from the opening kick, as Spain mishandled the kick. In the 6th minute, the ball was swung wide to Naya Tapper, who fended Amaia Erbina and raced in for a try in the corner. Alev Kelter then converted for a 7-0 lead.

The USA continued to dominate both possession and territory during the first half, but they only added a second try at the 34rd minute as Jordan Gray followed up scrum half Deven Owsiany’s quick tap from a penalty to dive over the line, increasing the lead to 12-0.

Discipline was an issue just prior to the break, when Sara Parsons was sent to the bin for not retreating 10 meters following a midfield penalty.

Spain was not able to capitalize on the Parsons penalty, as the Eagles defended well, with only Spain’s full back Iera Echebarria poising a threat with a break. At the 50th minute Alev Kelter fended her way through defenders and offloaded to Cheta Emba for a try and a 17-0 lead.

The USA attacked again off the restart as Catherine Benson had the first break, which was followed by Alycia Washington into Spain’s territory. Emba then grubbed ahead with Spain carry the ball in-goal. In the ensuing 5 meter scrum, the ball came out and Naya Tapper scored under the posts, making Kelter’s conversion easy. That also sealed a bonus point for the USA with their fourth try, while leading 24-0.

Entering the final quarter, the USA went up 31-0 when Spain illegally collapsed a driving maul and conceded a penalty try, the first seven-point penalty try in WRWC history.

The Eagles added two additional tries in the 78th and 80th minutes, as Jessica Javelet scored her first career test try after chasing a Kelter grubber in-goal and Hope Rogers crashed over the line on the final play of the game to win 43-0.

Head Coach Pete Steinberg reflected about the team’s win saying that “We’re excited to have checked the box again, which is a win and scoring four tries. The most satisfying part of that game was that we improved. The first half, again, was a little rough for us; our accuracy let us down. But as the game wore on we played some great rugby both on attack and defense. What we know is there’s more for us to give.”


“The other thing I think was a big difference was our players off the bench. We have a lot of depth. Our ability to bring players off the bench to bring a little extra energy put us away.”


USA Women’s Eagles 43
Tries: Tapper (2), Gray, Emba, Javelet, Rogers Conversions: Kelter (3) Discipline: Parsons (Yellow)

Spain 0

USA Women’s Eagles v Italy: 1 Catherine Benson  2 Sam Pankey 3 Tiffany Faaee (C) 4 Stacey Bridges 5 Abby Gustaitis 6 Sara Parsons 7 Kate Zackary 8 Jordan Gray 9 Devin Owsiany 10 Kimber Rozier 11 Kristen Thomas 12 Alev Kelter 13 Nicole Heavirland 14 Naya Tapper 15 Cheta Ember 16 Kathryn Augustyn 17 jamilla Reinhardt Naima Reddick 18 Hope Rogers 19 Alycia Washington 20 Kristine Sommer 21 Kayla Canett-Oca 22 Sylvia Braaten 23 Jesssica Lavelet

Spain v USA: 1 Isabel Rico (VC) 2 Aroa González (capt) 3 Jeanina Vinueza 4 Maria Ribera 5 Rocio García 6 Diana Gasso 7 Paula Medin 8 Angela Del Pan 9 Anne Fernández de Corres 10 Patricia García 11 Uri Barrutieta 12 Marina Bravo 13 Vanesa Rial 14 Amaia Erbina 15 Iera Echebarria 16 Saioa Jaurena 17 Isabel Macias 18 Laura Delgado 19 Berta García 20 Elena Redondo 21 Carmen Perez 22 Maria Ahis 23 Maria Casado

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 Aug. 9
v. Spain – W 43-0 Aug. 13
v. England – Thursday, Aug. 17 @ 9:30 a.m. ET
Semifinals – Tuesday, Aug. 22
Finals – Saturday, Aug. 26


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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant