USA Women Hong Kong 7s Pool Preview
The USA Women’s Eagle Sevens team departs for Hong Kong today (Tuesday March 20) in advance of its third tournament of the 2011-2012 season. Riding a wave of momentum from finishing fourth in the Dubai IRB Women’s Challenge Cup and second in the USA Women’s International Invitational, USA Head Coach Ric Suggitt’s team is in prime position for another strong showing in the international arena.
USA captain Deven Owsiany is thrilled about the squad and their chances in Hong Kong, but is also keen on using Hong Kong to develop the team for future success.
“We have an awesome team going to Hong Kong…Obviously we would all like to win the tournament, but we want to focus on a few areas like protecting the ruck and having good hands,” Owsiany said emphasizing that success can be measured in progress as well as results.
The Eagles see Tunisia and Spain in pool play on Friday March 23. Both teams are difficult to prepare for due to the fact that game film on the two teams is scarce.
It’s known that Spain is fast and well drilled, but in terms of personnel they are a bit of a mystery. Not knowing the opposition can be a blessing and a curse. Film is helpful and knowing a team’s tendencies can inform preparation, but it can also detract a team’s identity.
Suggitt has assembled a squad of high-flying backs and gritty forwards, a squad that has already established an identity as a high octane, physical team. It’s also a team that is continuously improving.
In Dubai the USA escaped pool play unscathed but then proceeded to endure heavy losses against Canada and Australia. In Dubai the Eagles lost to Canada 36-0 in the Cup semis. In Vegas, the Eagles went 4-1 stamping out a very good Dutch national team in the Cup semis and narrowly missing out on a Cup final win against Canada, losing 5-14.
To continue that upward trajectory, the USA needs to get in a rhythm early in Hong Kong.
“We know that no matter what, we have to be ourselves and play our game,” said Suggitt.
For updates on the USA Women’s Eagle Sevens team in Hong Kong, follow USA Rugby on Twitter (@usaeaglesrugby), search for the hashtag #wrugby, or like USA Rugby Facebook (facebook.com/usarugby).