GREELEY, Colo. — Stripes walked away with a clean sweep of Stars in the three scrimmage series at the Top 60 camp last week. However, a few days removed from the practices and scrimmages, head coach Pete Steinberg thinks player development was the most notable piece.
Seeing how much players have improved since the Women’s Eagles last meeting in November particularly stood out more so than the final scores.
“The improvement in the players over a year shows that Eagle365 is working,” said Steinberg.
Eagle365 and the ETC camps have combined to prepare athletes for becoming a Women’s Eagle outside of the national team assemblies, which was evident during the Top 60 camp events.
As a result, the number of international-ready athletes available has drastically increased.
“Players are getting better and while last year we did not have 30 players who could step out and play international rugby, this year we have more than 35,” commented Steinberg.
The depth in the backline was a point of interest for the Women’s Eagles coaching staff while at the Top 60 camp. The group had been disappointed about that aspect of the game from the November tour to France last year. However, this year’s assembly is helping to dissipate those thoughts.
“In the fall tour we were disappointed in our back play so we are looking to see which of these backs could step up and play this summer,” said Steinberg. “There were a number of young backs that really stood out.”
With just days remaining until the Women’s Eagles first test match against France, tactical efforts were also a big focus of the Top 60 camp.
“We need to improve our attack against France,” mentioned Steinberg following the camp. “[Last year] our set pieces were strong, our kicking game worked well, and our defense was solid. However, we did not generate many scoring opportunities.”
And the Top 60 camp was used to correct just that.
“We spent some of [the camp] installing a new attacking structure and we are looking forward to that developing over the summer,” said Steinberg.
The Women’s Eagles will kickoff the three match series June 7, at Oxnard College (Calif.).
Subsequent matches between the Women’s Eagles and France take place June 11 and 14.
All of the matches against France are slated to kickoff at 5 p.m. (PT).
Further details about the France matches will be released in the coming days.