GUILDFORD, UK – USA dropped their final Pool B match against England, who will enter the semi finals as the top seed of the Women's Rugby World Cup. The four teams to go through to the semi-finals include New Zealand, France, Australia, and England. The Women Eagles, while disappointed in the result, produced an exciting display of rugby fit for a nationwide broadcast.
England’s Danielle Waterman drew first blood in the first five minutes utilizing blistering speed to the outside. Katy McLean added three more points with a well-struck penalty making the score 8-0 in favor of England. The Women Eagles responded midway through the first half with a try by Nathalie Marchino. The wing broke through initially, setting up several successful phases and worked her way back into play to finish the move with a try in the corner.
England countered by scoring with five minutes remaining in the half to extend their lead to 13-5. McLean weighted a grubber kick perfectly for Merchant who touched down for the score. USA then went down a player after Marchino was yellow carded and England took full advantage with another try from Waterman. The fullback evaded several defenders before scoring under the posts and the half would close with England leading 20-5.
The USA began the second half with fierce aggression and commitment in the tackle as the English Roses suffered a few early mishandles. Ten minutes into the second half, English center, Emily Scarratt, righted the situation by breaking two tackles and sprinting to the line to give England a 25-5 lead. At the 60 minute mark, despite another yellow card dealt to the Americans, the Women Eagles scored their second try through a dedicated effort by Kim Magrini. Christy Ringgenberg’s boot gave the USA possession around England’s 22 meter line to lead into some open play, with Magrini diving in for the try, making the score 25-10.
England’s final phases produced well-worked tries by Amber Penrith, who was able to beat the USA defense outside, and Maggie Alphonsi who side-stepped her way into another five points. The final whistle sounded and England had defeated the USA with a score of 37-10.
“I’m pleased with our performance as we proved we were able to bounce back from a disheartening second round match. We were able to score and defend against England, one of the top ranked teams in the tournament, and we forced them to bring their best game to earn the win. We believe we are in a positive position leading into next week,” said Eagle head coach, Kathy Flores.
With the final pool play points tallied, the Women Eagles have earned a second chance against Ireland in a battle for placement amongst the fifth to eighth seeds. England will look forward to a semifinal against Australia. The USA will take on Ireland one more time on Wednesday September 1, hopefully with a better result than their previous encounter. The USA lost their second Pool B match against the Irish 22-12 on August 24.
USA 10, England 37
Tries: Marchino, Magrini
Tries: Waterman (2), Scarratt, Merchant, Penrith, Alphonsi
Conversions: McLean 2
Women’s National Team Website: http://www.wewantrugby.com