USA Stripes Defeat USA Stars

USA Rugby Release – Aalina Tabini, Photo Travis Pryor

The USA Women’s National Team XVs competed for the first time since November. In the Stars vs Stripes matchup, young players were on show as the USA Stripes walked away with a convincing 34-12 victory.

Flanker Bitsy Cairns was named Player of the Match, presented by Thorne, as a result of her powerful runs and physical play that made a clear impact through all 80-minutes of play.

“It was great to watch them play again, they’ve been working very hard on their playing philosophy,” said Head Coach Rob Cain. “We saw some really good individual and unit performances and we’re really excited for Game Two.

“We’re probably not moving the ball into space as best as we can. We need to be more aggressive with our follow-through and our fight. The intent with our kicking game was very good but we always want to ensure we’re putting the opposition under pressure. We’re gonna look at all those areas.”

Stop-start play filled the first half as a mix of nerves and excitement erupted in penalties. Kristi Kirshe, Cassidy Bargell and Bitsy Cairns made convincing runs as both teams nestled back into the rhythm of competitive play.  Each side had its opportunities inside the 22 without much doing on the scoreline. Then, with 21 minutes gone, Megan Foster put momentum im check with a penalty in favor of the Stripes.

The stars won a penalty try for their first points, awarded off the back-end of a scrummaging error. But in the final moments, a rolling maul paved the way for Bitsy Cairns to score right at halftime, giving the Stripes an edge to carry in the next phase of play.

Players entered the second half with a burst of energy. Where it seemed the Stripes had an advantage in possession, the Stars came back with numerous trips inside the opposing 22. Kathryn Johnson’s convincing stride in the 53rd minute had indicated a shift in momentum that had the Stripes on defense for considerable time.

The pace of play only intensified as Sarah Levy made an exciting run on the wing to overcome Neariah Persinger and increase the Stripes’ lead.

Stars answered back right away in response. A quick string of passes from the breakdown met with Hallie Taufoou who sprinted around the wing and slammed the ball over the line. Kristi Kirshe swooped in after to set Megan Foster up with a beautiful offload that let her score right between the posts. Foster was perfect off the boot the entire match.

With minutes to go, Kayla Lawson added her flair with a stunning scurry that dodged two defenders to bring in the final try. With Megan Foster’s extras, the Stripes had sealed a 34-17 victory.


  1. Nick James (C)
  2. Kathryn Treder 
  3. Hope Rogers-Dellermann
  4. Sam Luther
  5. Hallie Taufoou
  6. Nicole Strasko
  7. Rachel Johnson
  8. Kathryn Johnson
  9. Cassidy Bargell
  10. Katana Howard
  11. Ilona Maher
  12. McKenzie Hawkins (VC)
  13. Amy Talei Bonte
  14. Evan Hoese
  15. Neariah Persinger
  16. Paige Stathopoulos
  17. Allie Schrenker
  18. Lisa Jackson
  19. Erica Jarrell
  20. Darian Lovelace
  21. Shelby Lin
  22. PK Vincze
  23. Kelsie O’Brien


  1. Maya Learned
  2. JoJo Kitlinski (VC)
  3. Charli Jacoby
  4. Jenny Kronish
  5. Julia Buescher
  6. Rachel Ehrecke
  7. Bitsy Cairns
  8. Jordan Matyas
  9. Carly Waters
  10. Megan Foster
  11. Sarah Levy
  12. Emily Henrich (C)
  13. Bulou Mataitoga
  14. Kristi Kirshe
  15. Jetta Owens 
  16. Jett Hayward
  17. Catie Benson
  18. Sam Tancredi
  19. Evelyn Ashenbrucker
  20. Olivia Ortiz
  21. Matalasi Morrissette
  22. Kayla Lawson
  23. Nichole Wanamaker

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant