Women's Eagles finish U.K. Tour with loss to England

Women's Eagles finish U.K. Tour with loss to England

SURREY, England – The Women’s Eagles finished a three-match tour of the United Kingdom Sunday with a 17-13 loss to England at Surrey Sports Park.

The Eagles traveled from Wales earlier in the week after defeating Wales Women, 10-7, at Paddy Park. A four-period scrimmage against England was held behind closed doors Wednesday, as well, before Sunday’s matchup in Surrey.

The Eagles had trouble getting out of their own half in the early goings of Sunday’s match but had the first opportunity to score with a Kimber Rozier penalty goal. Rozier’s 35-meter kick struggled to get through the harsh winds and ultimately missed the target.

England full back Danielle Waterman gave the Eagles a scare with a break wide before doing it again to open the scoring with a 23rd-minute try. Emily Scarratt missed the conversion for a 5-0 lead.

Shaina Turley was sent to the sin bin in the 32nd minute after multiple infractions for not rolling away in the ruck. With a player advantage for the remaining minutes of the first half, England doubled its lead with a try from Claire Purdy after the eagles failed to clear from a five-meter scrum. Scarratt’s second conversion attempt was successful to give England a 12-0, halftime lead.

The Eagles offered more going forward in the opening minutes of the second half, but fell behind by an extra five points in the 47th minute when second-half substitute Katy Mclean was the beneficiary of neat passing to dot down in the try zone.

Sadie Anderson gave the Eagles a lifeline minutes later with a penalty kick to bring the score to 17-3 before Vanesha McGee scored a try in the 58th minute. The Eagles won a lineout and moved the ball through multiple phases before the wing broke through the line to score.

Down 17-8, the Eagles had plenty of work to do in the remaining 20 minutes. Much like the Eagles’ first-half play, England had trouble getting out of its own half against the wind. McGee caught a long clearance kick and ran 60 meters to the try zone for the Eagles’ second try, which brought the score to 17-13.

Despite the obvious swing in momentum, the Eagles could not complete the comeback. Missed kicks and set-piece mistakes helped England get the win, but Eagles Head Coach Pete Steinberg saw some good signs from an improving team.

“Our performance was very good, but we had an opportunity to win the game and did not take it,” he said. “However, we leave this tour confident that we are continuing to improve and our pre-World Cup camp will be important to enhance our execution.”

“This tour has been a really great platform for us to fine-tune our game plan leading up to the World Cup,” McGee said. “Today’s match against England was winnable for us as we played some really great rugby. We didn’t finish on top, but we know we are stepping up into the right place as we continue our preparations. It’s a great feeling to see our hard work play out on the field and to build our team confidence.”

The Eagles kick off their IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 campaign Aug. 1 against Ireland. Kazakhstan and reigning World Cup champion New Zealand are also in the Eagles’ pool in France.

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Women's Eagles | v England
1. Sarah Chobot
2. Kathryn Augustyn
3. Hope Rogers
4. Carmen Farmer
5. Sarah Walsh
6. Shaina Turley
7. Jillion Potter
8. Kate Daley
9. Jocelyn Tseng
10. Kimberly Rozier
11. Nathalie Marchino
12. Emilie Bydwell
13. Akalaini "Bui" Baravilala
14. Vanesha McGee
15. Sadie Anderson

Women's Eagles | Reserves
16. Kittery Wagner (@ 74')
17. Jamie Burke (@ 70')
18. Naima Reddick
19. Sharon Blaney (@ 74')
20. Lauren Daly (@ 70')
21. Deven Owsiany (@ 70')
22. Hannah Stolba (@ 74')
23. Caroline White

England | Starting XV
23. Claire Purdy
10. Mercedes Foy
16. Laura Keates
3. Emily Braund
19. Joanna McGilchrist
11. Hannah Gallagher
8. Heather Fisher
31. Alexandra Matthews
18. La Toya Mason
17. Ceri Large
32. Natasha Brennan
4. Rachael Burford
25. Emily Scarratt (C)
28. Lydia Thompson
29. Danielle Waterman

England | Reserves
9. Vicky Fleetwood (@ 40')
5. Rochelle Clark (@ 60')
13. Sophie Hemming (@ 55')
2. Margaret Alphonsi (@ 40')
15. Sarah Hunter (@ 38')
12. Georgina Gulliver (@ 40')
20. Katy Mclean (@ 40')
26. Michaela Staniford (@ 40')

Women's Eagles | 13
Tries: McGee (2)
Conversions: None
Penalties: Anderson

England | 17
Tries: Waterman, Purdy, Mclean
Conversions: Scarratt
Penalties: None

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