USA Women’s Eagles vs. New Zealand Black Ferns
The USA Rugby Weekend kicked off the first of three matches at Soldier Field in Chicago with the USA Women’s Eagles losing 67-6 to the top-ranked New Zealand Black Ferns. The Women’s Eagles performed well defensively during the first half holding New Zealand to a 26-6 lead at the break.
The second match of The Rugby Weekend will Ireland playing Italy and the USA Men’s Eagles concluding the day against the Maori All Blacks.
The Women’s Eagles will now focus their attention on England next week, and then have a week break as a developmental A game will be played against England A before the Women Eagles conclude the November internationals against Ireland.
The USA vs New Zealand Recap
The Black Ferns jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first minute as Aldora Itunu scored from close range from a maul. The USA answered back a few minutes later with a penalty kick by Kimber Rozier to cut the lead to 7-3.
Chelsea Alley added a New Zealand try in the 15th minute and soon after Eloise Blackwell barreled over the line from a maul. Kendra Cocksedge continued to be perfect with the foot and the lead was 21-3.
The Black Ferns had another opportunity to increase the lead from a lineout 8-meters out, but a Rachel Johnson steal had the USA swinging the ball wide right and after a break by Kaitlyn Broughton, Rozier kicked the ball ahead with Kelsi Stockert chasing before the ball went through in-goal.
The Black Ferns attacked again from a lineout with Stacey Waaka getting to within 2-meters of the line before a double team tackle by the USA caused a turnover. After two picks, the ball was cleared. The Black Ferns executed another set piece and captain Fiao’o Faamausali scored from the maul. Cocksedge then missed her first conversion.
Prior to the break, the Black Ferns committed a rare scrum infraction and were penalized and the Women Eagles Kimber Rozier calmly slotted the kick cutting the lead to 26-6 at the break.
Early in the second half, the Black Ferns added a try by Fa’amausili and then added another after the USA was offsides, swinging the ball wide with Renee Wickliffe touching down in the corner. The floodgates were open and New Zealand continued with tries by Selica Winiata, Renee Wickliffe, Kendra Cocksedge, another by both Waaka and Blackwell, and ending with debutant Ayesha Leti-I’ga in the corner for a 67-6 win over the Women’s Eagles.
There were some bright spots for the USA with some stellar play by Kaitlyn Broughton and Kelsi Stockert. Rachel Johnson also shined in the forwards and Kimber Rozier showed her leadership in the backline. The USA contained the Black Ferns for much of the first half before the Black Ferns momentum took over.
There were also several players that debuted for the Women’s Eagles. As these players gain more international experience, that will help the team as it prepares for the Rugby World Cup/
With the match against the Black Ferns over, the USA will now turn their attention to playing England and Ireland in Europe in the other November tests.
Squads (Test caps in brackets. *New cap)
USA Women’s Eagles: 1. Catherine Benson (14) 2. Katy Augustyn (31) 3. Azniv Nalbandian* 4. Stacey Bridges (33) 5. Alycia Washington (14) 6. Rachel Johnson* 7. Kate Zackary (6) 8. Jordan Gray (15) 9. Carly Waters* 10. Gabriella Cantorna* 11. Kaitlyn Broughton* 12. Kimber Rozier (28) 13. Emily Henrich* 14. Kelsi Stockert (5) 15. Amelia Bizer (16) 16. Joyce Taufa* 17. Nick James (3) 18. Megan Rom* 19. Finau Tamaivena* 20. McKenna Strong* 21. Nikki Kenyon* 22. McKenzie Hawkins* 23. Evan Hoese *
U.S. Women’s National Team Staff
Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Richard Ashfield
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach | Jamie Burke
Head of Physical Performance | Ian Jones
Head Performance Analyst | David Gardner
Assistant Performance Analyst | Craig Wilson (Chicago)
Head Athletic Trainer | Bri Sparks
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry
Technical Halfbacks Coach & Team Manager | Jenny Lui (Chicago)
U.S. Women’s National Team Schedule | November Internationals 2018
- The Rugby Weekend vs New Zealand (Preview) Sat, Nov. 3 -Soldier Field, Chicago, Illinois L 67-6
- vs England, Fri, Nov. 9 | 2:45 PM ET, Allianz Park, London, England
- vs Ireland, Sun, Nov. 18 | Time TBC, Energia Park, Dublin, Ireland