Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The Women’s National Team came out on top of their rematch with Ireland in the Women’s Rugby World Cup. With a final score of 40-3, the Eagles righted mistakes made in their previous pool play meeting.
As a result, the Eagles will face their arch-rival Canada on September 5th in the 5th place playoff match.
The Eagles came out aggressively from the start with backs and forwards linking up on attack. Ireland had moments of effectiveness in slowing down the ball, but the Eagles were overall able to control the pace of the match.
Victoria Folayan scored on a phenomenal run beating two Irish defenders with pure speed and fending off a third before crossing the line. This early backline attack put the Eagles up 5-0.
At the midway point, the USA was awarded a scrum within 5 meters. Ireland collapsed the resulting maul under pressure awarding a penalty try to the Americans.
Christy Ringgenberg added the extra points, and the score was 14-0. Ireland stayed in the match with a well struck penalty kick by Niamh Briggs, which served as Ireland’s only points of the match.
Just before the break, the USA launched a devastating attack involving Ringgenberg linking with center Amy Daniels to add five more to the point total. The score at the half way mark was 21-3 in favor of the Eagles.
In the second half, the Americans managed to prevent Ireland from scoring despite a string of penalties and quality ball retention by their opponents. The Eagles struggled to remain disciplined in contact, but were able to absorb the Irish momentum.
After winning possession, the USA made use of their potent backline as Folayan burst through two Irish defenders to offload to Daniels in support for the try. After a series of scrums, Claudia Braymer spread the ball wide to set up Folayan who used blistering pace to score in the corner.
Ringgenberg’s kick sailed wide and the score sat at 33-3.
Replacement Vanesha McGee contributed in the final minutes by striding through a tackle to score the last try of the match. Ringgenberg tacked-on another conversion to complete the scoring at 40 to 3.
“After a tough performance against England, we were able to bounce back and take advantage of having a second chance at Ireland. We are happy with the result and look forward to playing Canada for 5th place,” said head coach, Kathy Flores.
“We are really pleased with the tries scored and improvements in ball retention. Some work needs to be done on cleaning up around the breakdown and finding the balance between aggression and discipline to be ready for our next match against Canada. We are excited for our next challenge,” said captain, Ashley English.
The USA now faces familiar foe Canada, who were able to secure their top 6 finish by defeating Scotland. The North American contest for 5th place will take place on Sunday in Guildford at Surrey Sports Park.
USA 40, Ireland 3
Tries: Folayan (2), Penalty Try Awarded, Daniels (2), McGee
Conversions: Ringgenberg (5)
Penalties: Briggs (1)