USA Rallies for a Bonus Point in Loss to England to Contend for Semi-Finals

August 17, 2017

USA Rallies for a Bonus Point in Loss to England to Contend for Semi-Finals


Photo: INPHO/James Crombie (Naya Tapper scores a try for USA)

Doug Coil

The USA Women’s Eagles faced England, the defending World Champions, on Thursday, August 17 at the UCD Bowl in Dublin in their final Pool B match. England defeated the Eagles 47-26, with the USA coming back with four second half tries to gain a critical bonus point.

With Canada lost the opening match of the day to New Zealand and did not pick up a bonus point. While England secured their spot in the semi-finals, the Eagles can advance to the semi-finals of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 if France beats Ireland or if Ireland wins, France not gaining a bonus point. Ireland would need a win over France to reach the semi-finals.

In the previous round, the Eagles beat Spain 43-0, while England beat Italy56-13. In the opening round, the USA beat Italy 24-12, while England beat Spain 56-5. Both teams are 2-0 and have 10 points.

USA and England Previous Matches

From a historic perspective, this is the 17th meeting between the USA and England. After winning the first ever World Cup in 1991, the USA reached the final in the next two competitions in 1994 and 1998, but since then, England have won all 14 meetings against the Eagles, including winning 39-13 in Utah last year. Although England’s history and its #1 ranking in the world make the Red Roses the favorite. Meanwhile, the 6th ranked Eagles are playing well and will seek to challenge.

NBC Sports Gold’s Rugby Pass provided live coverage of Thursdays match between the Eagles and the Red Roses for viewers in the United States, while fans outside of America were able to watch the action on the official website of the Women’s World Cup.

The USA Women’s Eagles fans were out prior to the match.


Photo:INPHO/Oisin Keniry (USA fans Katy Welter, Sarah Murphy and Dray Corey ahead of their Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 Pool B match with England)

England v USA Recap (Preview)

England dominated the possession and were strong in the set pieces as they scored five tries during the first half for a 33-7 lead at the break.

With England putting the USA under pressure, the Eagles were penalized, but a penalty kick attempt by Emily Scarratt was missed. England scored the first points of the match as Katy McLean kicked through and Emily Scarratt gathered for a try, which she then converted for a 7-0 lead.

England then took advantage of a penalty and after a lineout went to a maul, Katy Augustyn was sent to the bin for collapsing the maul and a penalty try was awarded.

England scored two other tries while the Eagles were down a player as Marlie Packer went in for a try from a maul, with Scarratt converting to lead 21-0. Packer then added another try pealing off a maul for try and a bonus point for England. Scarratt again converted increasing the lead to 28-0.

The USA then went through multiple phases with Kristen Thomas crossing the line, but being held up. From the ensuing 5 meter scrum, Kate Zackary dove over for a try and Alev Kelter converted to narrow the score to 28-7.

Katy Augustyn gathered the restart and the Eagles attacked, however a errant pass by Kelter led to an England attack. Katy McLean then found a gap for England’s fifth try for a 33-7 lead at the break.

England exploded for a try by Amy Wilson Hardy at the 42nd minute, with Scarratt converting a 40-7 lead. Six minutes later Amy Cokayne added a try from a maul with Scarratt converting again increasing the lead to 47-7

The Eagles then stormed back after a Kelter break and a Tapper to offload to Cheta Emba for a try to narrow the lead to 47-12.

At the 61st minute Nick James entered the match for the Eagles for a scrum, earning her first international cap. Soon after the USA used a lineout ball to swing the ball wide to Naya Tapper and she ran 30 meters for the Eagles third try. Kelter then converted and the score was 47-19.

The USA continued to build pressure and the momentum continued through multiple attacks. This paid off as with time expired the USA won a scrum and Kristen Thomas beak Vicky Fleetwood for a bonus point try. Kimber Rozier then converted for the full time 47-26 score.

Semi-Final Implications

The last 30 minutes for the Eagles were clutch. The bonus point gives them 11 points in the standings with a minus 34 point differential. Should France win against Ireland, this  will give them a semi-final match against New Zealand. An Ireland win, with France not scoring a bonus point would also get them through. However, if France loses and gains a bonus point for either four tries or a loss less then 7 points, France would likely advance due to point differential, as they have a plus 106.

England finished on top of Pool B with a 3-0 record and 15 points in the standings. They will face the winner of the France against Ireland match later today. France will need a bonus point to tie England with 15 points. If so, point differential will determine the second versus third seed. England has a plus 115. The seed would not impact the semi-final as England would meet France. Should Ireland win, they would be the third seed.

USA Women’s Eagles v England: 1 Catherine Ben

son  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 Kristen Thomas 12 Alev Kelter 13 Nicole Heavirland 14 Naya Tapper 15 Cheta Ember 16 Sam Pankey 17 Hope Rogers 18 Nick James 19 Abby Gustaitis 20 Kristine Sommer 21 Kayla Canett-Oca 22 Sylvia Braaten 23 Jesssica Wooden

England v USA: 1. Vickii Cornborough 2. Amy Cokayne 3. Sarah Bern 4. Abbie Scott  5. Tamara Taylor 6. Alex Matthews 7. Marlie Packer 8. Sarah Hunter (C) 9. Natasha Hunt 10. Katy Mclean 11. Amy Wilson Hardy 12. Amber Reed 13. Emily Scarratt 14. Amy Wilson Hardy 15. Danielle Waterman 16. Vicky Fleetwood 17. Rochelle Clark 18. Justine Lucas 19. Poppy Cleall 20 Harriet Millar-Mills 21. Leanne Riley 22. Rachael Burford 23. Megan Jones

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant