USA Women into Dubai Cup Semis

For Immediate Release

December 2, 2011
Women's Eagles Secure Spot in Dubai Cup Semifinal
DUBAI, U.A.E - The USA went 2-1 on day one of the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup opener in Dubai, defeating South Africa and China to secure a spot against Canada in the cup semifinal.
The Eagles are the number two seed coming out of Pool B due to a shutout at the hands of rugby powerhouse, England.
Emilie Bydwell was lethal on day one for the USA, scoring three second half tries, two against South Africa and one against China, to help her team notch wins in those games. 
Bydwell on the attack against South Africa.  She scored two second half tries in the win over South Africa.  Photo credit: Ian Muir
Youngster Katie Dowty, USA captain Beth Black, and wily vet Pam Kosanke all chimed in on the score sheet as well.  
Kosanke's boot pressured the Chinese team immensely in that encounter, slotting conversions in the second half and forcing China to have to score a converted try if they hoped to level the scores.  The Chinese wouldn't even have the opportunity as the Eagles shut them out in the second half.
The experience of playing in the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup is crucial for the younger players on the team in the short and long term.
The thrilling news released earlier this week that USA Rugby will offer fulltime contracts to eight Women's Eagles, puts in perspective the value of getting players experience at the highest level, with an eye always on Rio 2016 when rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut.
Rivals Canada will lineup against the Eagles in the semi.  Canada beat Brazil, Spain, and Australia on day one. The semifinal kicks off at 5:52 a.m. ET on Saturday December 3.

Further Information:

Jarrod Beckstrom | Communications Manager | USA Rugby |



USA v. South Africa (2:20 a.m. ET)

The Women's Eagle Sevens team got off to a roaring start in the IRB Women's Sevens Challenge Cup by downing South Africa 22-10 in the opening match of the women's tournament.


Captain Beth Black opened the account for the Eagles snaking through the South African defense.  The incredibly powerful and fit veteran, Pam Kosanke, added to that tally two minutes later and the USA were up 10-0 with just three minutes to go in the first half.


South Africa answered back with two quick scores before halftime, with the second coming after the hooter indicated the end of the period.


San Diego Surfers star, Emilie Bydwell, sealed victory for her team with a remarkable two try second half performance.



Tries: Black, Kosanke, Bydwell (2)

Cons: Kosanke


South Africa

Tries: 2


USA v. China (3:44 a.m. ET)

A second half comeback by the USA ensured a spot in the Dubai Rugby Sevens Cup Semifinal with a crucial Pool B win over China.


The USA felt the pressure in the first half, with China scoring the only points in the period.  A reset button was hit at halftime with the Eagles, but it would take three minutes for the Eagles to tally a score.


Emilie Bydwell got her third try of the tournament  after scoring a brace against South Africa and Pam Kosanke added the extras to level the scores with four minutes remaining. 


Harvard grad and young speed merchant, Katie Dowty, dotted down the game-winner for the Eagles and Kosanke converted once again.


With the win, the Eagles guaranteed themselves a spot in the cup semis on day two, but an inevitable clash with world powerhouse England.


USA 14

Tries: Bydwell, Dowty

Cons: Kosanke (2)



Tries: 1

Cons: 1


USA v. England (10:10 a.m. ET)

The English women overpowered the Eagles in the last match of the day for both teams.  Both England and the USA were undefeated going into the clash and were battling for the top spot in Pool B.


Three first half tries by the English put the Eagles in a pretty deep hole, and two scores in the second half would seal a victory for England.


A shutout in the last match is rough, but the Eagles will surely be fired up to face arch rivals Canada in the cup semifinal on day two.