USA Eagles
5  
England
57 33
Women's Eagles  @ Allianz Park
November 9, 20187:45 pm BDST
Autumn Internationals
FloRugby

Women's Eagles fall to England in rainy London affair

Facing the number one and number two women's rugby nations in the world is no small task. Facing them back to back in a matter of 6 days is understandably added pressure. Regardless, the USA Women's Eagles took the pitch at a rainy Allianz Park in London with fresh energy and loads of experience to consume. Despite some amazing flashes of collective defense, the Red Roses would seal a 57-5 victory at the final whistle Friday night.

Returning to his old stomping ground with Saracens Women, Head Coach Rob Cain led his young squad into London urging the team to ante up on defense after a broad loss to the New Zealand Black Ferns last weekend in Chicago. While the team seemed to improve on that front, offense was the troublesome bit in game two, large part due to the heavy rain.

Collecting her 100th cap for England, Katy Daley-Mclean kicked off to the left flank and into touch. England would regain control, but possession would go back and fourth between sides as ball movement provided to be a challenge in the rainy elements. England would overcome and find Leanne Riley for first points of the game. Red Roses up 7-0.

Early in the first half, the United States did find themselves knocking on the door near the opposing 5-meter line. A kick down field out of the ruck gave the Eagles a close proximity scrum and first scoring chance of the match. No. 8 Jordan Gray-Matyas and company would begin the phase barging the line and inching towards the end zone. Coming up short, scrumhalf Anna Karen Pedraza decided to pitch out wide into space where the second row nearly found a gap before fumbling the pass for a knock on.

Back and fourth play continued until the United States were set back after a red card to Prop Megan Rom in the 14th minute. Resulting in a TMO, Rom was sent off for "leading with the forearm" and the US was on the wrong end of a player advantage.

England capitalized with a try from Sarah McKenna, extending the lead to 14-0.

The first flash from the Eagles came in the 23' when Fullback Kaitlyn Broughton took advantage of an England miss-pass and kicked the ball down field in stride. With the ball dribbling ground-level, she gave it another boot toward the try line in chase but it would roll just too far over the back line before she could get a hand on it for points. Regardless, the U.S. team was looking to heat up.

Shortly after the Red Roses were awarded a penalty try when a rolling maul collapsed on the line. Subsequently, Captain Kate Zachary received a yellow card, giving England a two-player advantage and the 21-0 lead.

Tack on two more from Abbie Scott and Katy Daley-McLean, the US walk into halftime with a 33 point deficit.

The second half saw more of the same scrappy play in the rain, but England was able to capitalize collecting two more tries before the United States finally found the try zone. Rookie Jennine Duncan, earning her first cap in the match, broke through a few tackles on the left flank and drove in for 5 points. The score would mark the Women's Eagles first try of the Autumn tour. A Megan Foster conversion would sail just right.

Tally one more to England and the final would result in home team favor, 57-5.

Despite the high scoring from England, flashes of strength on defense were on display at Allianz Park as the US showed resiliency on the goal line. Veteran Megan Foster accounted for two held up in goal goals, one of which coming from a chase in the right corner in a one-on-one match up.

Similar to The Rugby Weekend, a handful of first caps were handed out as Sarah Levy debuted in the starting lineup while Melissa Finkelstein and try-scoring Jennine Duncan came in as reserves.

"Just really proud of the players, really tough going down to 14 early," noted Head Coach Rob Cain, "The stuck to the task with defensive heroics in the second half however."

Cain continued, "It's a shame we couldn't get more of the ball, but really proud of them and it's helps build for England A."

Echoing coach's remarks, building on experience is the name of the game this November as the notably young squad strides into international competition. The team moves on to a match up with England A at Newbury RFC this Tuesday. Technically competing as the Women's Selects, more time on the pitch will be a welcomed experience as #8 Ireland loom on Saturday, Nov. 17th in Dublin.

U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM STAFF

Head Coach | Rob Cain
Assistant Coach | Richard Ashfield
Assistant Coach | Kate Daley
Assistant Coach & Team Manager | Jamie Burke
Head of Physical Performance | Ian Jones
Head Performance Analyst | David Gardner
Team Doctor | Terrence Cronin
Head Athletic Trainer | Bri Arsenault 
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Katherine Henry

U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM SCHEDULE | NOVEMBER INTERNATIONALS 2018

vs New Zealand 6-67 (L)

vs England 5-57 (L)

vs Ireland
Sun, Nov. 18 | Time TBC
Energia Park, Dublin, Ireland