Canada streaks to defeat of Eagles, second win of Super Series

SALT LAKE CITY - Canada continued its unbeaten run at the 2016 Women's Rugby Super Series Tuesday in a 33-5 defeat of the Women's Eagles at Regional Athletic Complex.

The Eagles followed up on a 19-13 defeat to France last Friday with Tuesday's performance, which saw only Hope Rogers cross the try line for the U.S. Canada becomes the only team of the tournament with two victories having heavily defeated England Friday, and with the Women's Rugby World Cup 2014 Champion snatching a last-second win against France Tuesday afternoon. The final day of the Super Series kicks off at 11 a.m. MT with the AIG Women's Collegiate All-Americans rounding out a two-match series against Rugby Canada's Maple Leafs prior to the Canada-France and England-USA fixtures. Broadcast details for the first kickoff are being finalized, though both Super Series matches will be broadcast live to subscribers of The Rugby Channel.

"It was just a messy game - not a whole lot of flow," Head Coach Pete Steinberg said post-match. "We have to take it and we have to grow from it. Our goal is always to play our best game on our last game. That last game's against England and that's what's in front of us."

Steinberg spoke to the Eagles' failures to capitalize on scoring opportunities against France following Friday's match, and the U.S. made sure to make the most of its first trip to the 22. Following Cheta Emba's mistiming of a tackle due to a skip pass by Player of the Match Andrea Burk, Brittany Waters scored the first try of the game, but the Eagles did not take the three points on offer when Jess Wooden drew a penalty in the attacking half minutes later. Instead, the U.S. kicked for touch to set up a lineout and bombarded the try line with crash balls until Catherine Benson offloaded in contact to Rogers, who went over the line to make it 7-5 in favor of the visitors.

Burk failed to convert a penalty kick in the 24th minute, but did extend Canada's lead to 10-7 with a successful kick in the 32nd after an extended period of turnovers and penalties, a microcosm of the match as a whole. Even when Jordan Gray was able to push the issue with her go-forward ability or when Emba and Saskia Morgan received the ball on the wing, isolation or mishandling the ball gave possession to Canada, which scored three minutes from the break through Deleaka Menin for a 17-5 halftime lead.

"At halftime we were actually pretty happy because we were struggling, but we were in the game," Steinberg said. "We had one chance in the second half where we really could've taken it but we came out the start of the second half, gave up that first try, and it was really hard for us to come back.

"We certainly had problems holding onto the ball. Canada was really good at turning the ball over and we really struggled to hold onto it. I think we're showing a lot of heart and real determination in defending near our line in both of these games. We just have to be more consistent."

Center Jenn Sever, partnering debutant Nate Serevi in the midfield, received a yellow card early in the second half as the Eagles dealt with a free-flowing Canadian attack. Burk initially punished the infraction with a converted penalty goal, but made the player-advantage truly count when she scored a try a minute later. Katie McNally was tackled high to draw a whistle, and Canada's lineout and ensuing maul popped the ball out for quick passing to Burk on the wing. The center hit one of the uprights on her conversion to keep the score at 25-5.

The Eagles kept Canada from doing any more damage while Sever was in the bin, and Steinberg called on Naya Tapper before the sinning expired. Scorer of one of the Eagles' two tries against France, the wing nearly doubled her Super Series tally in the 67th minute, but possession was lost to a knock before it could reach the try line.

Set pieces were hit and miss for both teams, but Gray gave the Eagles an advantage from the back of the scrum when Canada was penalized, taking the ball forward with the pick on several occasions in the second frame. None resulted in points, however, and a 77th-minute yellow card to debutant prop Jamila Reinhardt gave Burk another opportunity at three points. The kick was successful for a 28-5 lead, and Canada finished off the match at 33-5 by taking advantage of the space created by the sinning and a lineout set piece, ultimately crossing the line through Julianne Zussman.

"This game was obviously disappointing for us," Steinberg said. "Against France we played well and didn't win, and that was a hard loss to take. This is a hard loss to take because we just didn't play our best. This Canadian team was obviously good; the same team put up 50 points on England.

"We played well enough to create opportunities against France. We didn't play well enough to create too many opportunities against Canada. Fair enough to them, they're a good side and they're looking like the class outfit of this tournament."

A win or draw against France would be enough for Canada to claim the Super Series trophy a year after losing all three matches of the tournament to the Eagles, England, and New Zealand. The Eagles will finish their summer campaign against reigning World Cup Champion England Saturday, July 9, at 3 p.m. MT. Both of Saturday's Super Series matches will be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel.

Women's Eagles | v. Canada
1. Catherine Benson
2. Kathryn Augustyn
3. Hope Rogers
4. Stacey Bridges (C)
5. Molly Kinsella
6. Elizabeth Cairns
7. Nicole Strasko
8. Jordan Gray
9. Jennifer Lui
10. Kimberly Rozier
11. Cheta Emba
12. Jenn Sever
13. Nate Serevi
14. Saskia Morgan
15. Jessica Wooden

Women's Eagles | Reserves
16. Joanna Kitlinski
17. Tiffany Faaee
18. Jamila Reinhardt
19. Alycia Washington
20. Christiane Pheil
21. Deven Owsiany
22. Megan Foster
23. Naya Tapper

Canada | v. USA
1. Carolyn McEwen
2. Jane Kirby
3. Deleaka Menin
4. Laura Russell (C)
5. Kayla Mack
6. Barbara Mervin
7. Latoya Blackwood
8. Jacey Murphy
9. Chelsea Guthrie
10. Emily Belchos
11. Katie McNally
12. Andrea Burk
13. Alex Tessier
14. Brittany Waters
15. Julianne Zussman

Canada | Reserves
16. Julia Folk
17. Demie Stamatakis
18. Olivia Demerchant
19. Tyson Beukeboom
20. Fabiola Forteza
21. Brianna Miller
22. Anais Holly
23. Frederique Rajotte

Women's Eagles | 5
Tries: Rogers
Conversions: N/A
Discipline: Sever (Yellow), Reinhardt (Yellow)

Canada | 33
Tries: Waters, Menin, Burk, Zussman
Conversions: Burk (ii)
Penalties: Burk (iii)

Women's Eagles | Women's Rugby Super Series
v. France - L 19-13
v. Canada - L 33-5
v. England - Saturday, July 9 @ 3 p.m. MT