LONG EATON, England – The USA Rugby AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans bounced back from their opening day defeat to Canada in emphatic style Sunday as they registered a six-try, 44-5 victory against a spirited South African side.
With the wounds still raw from Thursday’s loss, the WJAAs flew out of the blocks, the forwards in particular started very strongly and in the seventh minute forced a scrum penalty in front of the posts that Meya Bizer easily converted for an early 3-0 lead.
The referee was already getting impatient with the South African play at the breakdown and after only nine minutes, South African number eight Faith Tshauke was sent to the bin for repeated infringements. The resultant penalty was narrowly missed by Bizer.
With the extra player advantage, the WJAAs applied the pressure and after a series of forceful drives down field, Jordan Gray broke from a strong scrum to find captain Bitsy Cairns perfectly placed in support to touch the ball down between the posts. Anne Peterson converted to bring the score to 10-0 after 15 minutes.
The WJAAs were visibly growing in confidence with forwards and backs showing increasing cohesion. From a perfectly executed lineout the backs made space for center Bizer, who broke the South African line. The ball was quickly recycled and Hope Rogers broke through the line to score. Anne Peterson again added the extras to increase the lead to 17-0. The momentum was well and truly with the young Eagles side, and seconds before the half, after several phases of positive play, Stephanie Browne sailed through the line to score a try on debut. A missed conversion left the score at halftime 22-0.
South Africa started the second half with the spirit they had shown in their win against England. Two quick scrum penalties led to a break down field and a try by #13 Ntombifuthi Sibiloane. The conversion went wide to bring the score to 22-5.
However, the WJAAs quickly regained the impetus. Once again the forwards setting the platform for Bizer to run a great line, hand off two defenders and touch down under the posts. Peterson converted the kick 29-5.
Sensing blood, the forwards continued to hammer away at the South African eight and in the 69th minute scrum half Cassidy Meyers took full advantage, quickly picking the ball from a forward moving scrum and dummied two opposing defenders and sprinted 30 meters unopposed for the bonus point try and a 34-5 lead.
The plucky South African team continued to ask questions of the WJAA defense, but were met by a blue wall every time. This led to a series of turnovers and soon after Brianna Troyer scored a well worked try that Bizer converted to bring the score to 41-5.
With time ticking away, the WJAAs continued to press and showed their ruthless streak with the final points of the game; a Meya Bizer penalty.
“The foundations for this victory were hard work and determination,” Head Coach Danielle Miller said. “The girls knew our game plan and executed it to perfection. The cohesion and composure was exceptional. We’re starting to gel and this was a huge step forward, it’s important we build on this and we will work hard to be ready for England.”
The WJAAs will face England Wednesday, July 17, at 2:00 P.M. ET. Follow updates from Trent College on Twitter @USAWomenEagles.
USA Rugby AIG Women's Junior All-Americans | vs. South Africa
1. Dorothy Mittow (Fonua at 62:00)
2. Danielle Ciocco (Moore @ 22:00)
3. Hope Rogers (Hoyne @ 40:00)
4. Chidinma "Chi Chi" Chukwueke
5. Megan Pinson
6. Kelsey Harris
7. Elizabeth Cairns (Svatos @ 68:36)
8. Jordan Gray
9. Miranda Previte (Meyers @ 50:33)
10. Anne Peterson
11. Stephanie Browne
12. Brianna Troyer
13. Meya Bizer
14. Stacey Wong
15. Margaret Myles
USA Rugby AIG Women's Junior All-Americans | Reserves
16. LauraBen Moore
17. Maxine Fonua
18. Markliann Hoyne
19. Hannah Price
20. Amee Svatos
21. Cassidy Meyers
22. Gabriella Cantorna
23. Natalie Kosko
USA Rugby AIG Women's Junior All-Americans | 44
Tries: Cairns, Rogers, Browne, Bizer, Meyers, Troyer
Conversions: Peterson (4)
Penalties: Bizer (2)
South Africa | 5