France claims first of two tests in Autumn International

BÉZIERS, France - France overcame a first-half onslaught at Stade de le Méditerranée Tuesday to see out a 36-10 defeat of the Women's Eagles in the first of two test matches in the south of France this week.

The Tour, supported by Atavus, continues Friday at Montpellier's Altrad Stadium, and will be the final international competition the U.S. faces until 2017. The Eagles will have a short recovery period before the 3 p.m. ET kickoff Friday on The Rugby Channel.

Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Olympian Alev Kelter kicked the opening restart in her XVs national team debut but was not able to get her hands on the ball again until after France opened the scoring. The Eagles forced their host into a knock, No. 8 Kate Daley conceded a penalty from the ensuing scrum, and France used a lineout-turned-maul to push hooker Agathe Sochat over for the 5-0 lead after four minutes.

In similar fashion, the U.S. stole France's maul a minute later to set up the attacking platform behind the 22. Captain Hope Rogers' run neared the try line, and she followed Alycia Washington's crash-ball carry with one of her own into the try zone. Fly half Kimber Rozier converted to give the Eagles a 7-5 advantage.

Washington was close to scoring from a quick tap all by herself in the 12th minute, drawing a penalty in the process, but the Eagles conceded the lead for good before ticking away at the scoreboard again. Despite controlling possession for large portions of the first half, a penalty here and there as well as the need to kick away allowed France territory to attack.

Lock Lenaig Corson trotted down the touch line in the 24th minute and France moved the ball to the opposite side for center Caroline Ladagnous to reclaim France's lead at 10-7. Rogers made the smart decision when Kelter drew a penalty call in the 30th minute, however, having Rozier kick for points to put the teams back on terms. The fly half's conversion was successful to tie the game at 10-10.

France began to find the ascendancy as the half neared an end, getting the last attacking opportunity with the Eagles called for successive penalties in their own half. The U.S. held the try line for several phases before the ball shifted towards the middle of the field, where prop Annëlle Dessayes beat wing Kelsi Stockert one on one under the posts. French fly half Audrey Abadie added the bonus points for a 17-10 score line at the break.

The Eagles came out of the locker room with intent, but France struck first in the second frame. Full back Laurianne Lissar put her side in scoring position and a maul formed in front of the posts to give Ladagnous the space she needed out wide to score her second try of the game.

Beginning to feel the lead grow insurmountable, the Eagles started to make individual mistakes in attempting to keep the attack flowing. France capitalized, continuing to strategically use the maul for a Romane Menager try in the 55th minute for a 31-10 lead. A more free-flowing attack in which the ball was moved at pace in the 60th minute led to substitute Yanna Rivoalen's try and the 36-10 score line.

Laure Touye bore the brunt of the match official's citation in the 73rd minute, receiving a yellow card at the end of a long phase of French penalties. The Eagles opted for touch rather than points on multiple occasions - looking for tries - but could not find the try zone prior to the final whistle.

The Eagles will be pleased with portions of their game with a rematch on the horizon, as the continuity carried over from the Women's Rugby Super Series, combined with the additions of previously-unavailable veterans and newer athletes to the setup, will allow Baggetta's side to improve for Friday.

The final match of the November Tour is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 25, at 3 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcast on The Rugby Channel to subscribers.

Women's Eagles | v. France
1. Sarah Chobot (Benson @ 58')
2. Katy Augustyn (Pankey @ 73')
3. Hope Rogers (C)
4. Alycia Washington
5. Jordan Gray
6. Christiane Pheil
7. Kate Zackary
8. Kate Daley (Gustaitis @ 61')
9. Jennifer Lui
10. Kimber Rozier
11. Kelsi Stockert (Tapper @ 71')
12. Sylvia Braaten
13. Alev Kelter
14. Tess Feury
15. Jessica Wooden

Women's Eagles | Reserves
16. Samantha Pankey
17. Catherine Benson
18. Tiffany Faaee
19. Abby Gustaitis
20. Elizabeth Cairns
21. Joanne Fa'avesi
22. Naya Tapper
23. Megan Foster

France | v. USA
1. Annëlle Dessayes (Arricastre @ 68')
2. Agathe Sochat (Thomas @ 68')
3. Julie Dubal (Touye @ 68')
4. Lenaig Corson (Andre @ 61')
5. Audrey Forlani
6. Marion Peyronnet
7. Laetitia Grand
8. Romane Menager
9. Pauline Bourdon (Rivoalen @ 40')
10. Audrey Abadie
11. Marine Menager
12. Lucille Godiveau (Le Duff @ 60')
13. Caroline Ladagnous
14. Elodie Guiglion
15. Laurianne Lissar (N'Diaye @ 78')

France | Reserves
16. Carline Thomas
17. Lise Arricastre
18. Manon Andre
19. Safi N'Diaye
20. Yanna Rivoalen
21. Elodie Poublan
22. Christelle Le Duff
23. Laure Touye

Women's Eagles | 10
Tries: Rogers
Conversions: Rozier
Penalties: Rozier

France | 36
Tries: Sochat, Ladagnous (2), Dessayes, R. Menager, Rivoalen
Conversions: Abadie (3)
Discipline: Touye (Yellow)

Women's Eagles | November Tour
v. France - L 36-10
v. France - Friday, Nov. 25 @ 3 p.m. ET - Altrad Stadium