The third round of play in the Women’s U20 Nations Cup finished Wednesday night at Storke Field with the U.S. and England advancing to the final.
England advances with a 3-0 record after their 66-7 victory over South Africa while the USA enters the finals at 2-1 after their 15-5 win over Canada.
The U20 Women’s Nations Cup will conclude on Saturday, July 23 with Canada and South Africa playing for third place, kicking off at 2 pm PDT, and the final between England and the USA set to kickoff at 4 pm PDT, both matches will be played at Harder Stadium at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The matches will be streamed live here.
Canada vs. USA
The USA was able to defeat Canada 15-5 and earn a spot in the final on Saturday July 23. The victory was a big one for the U.S. team who is making big strides in reaching the U20 Women’s Nations Cup Final.
The first half of play was characterized by solid defensive play from both teams. It wasn’t until the 30th minute when Amelia Bizer was able to make a penalty kick to give the U.S. a 3-0 lead in a tight match.
The first score of the match didn’t necessarily open the floodgates, but it did provide a spark for Canada, who played the ball nicely to loose forward, Cindy Nelles in the 34th minute for a try. The failed conversion attempt made the score 5-3 in favor of Canada at half time.
The two teams match up very will against each other, proven in the minimal scoring throughout the second half as well.
Neither team was able to make gains significant enough to cross the try line until Amelia Bizer did so in the 62nd minute after great ball movement that set her up for the strong run and score. Bizer, who will be playing football on scholarship at the University of St. Mary’s, Leavenworth, Kansas in the fall, made the conversion to give the U.S. a one try cushion heading into the crucial final 15 minutes of play.
The young women from the U.S. showed strong poise in the waning minutes of the match when the inside center, Akalaini Baravilala, touched down for a try and sealed the U.S.’s fate.
The hard-fought match was a valuable learning experience for the U.S. team who is facing and England team that beat them 37-0 just a few days ago. If England is to be defeated, the U.S. must play extremely physical and good fundamental rugby while limiting mistakes that will be capitalized on by England.
That match will be webcast live on USA Rugby’s UStream channel on Saturday July 23 at 4 P.M. PDT.
USA - 15
Tries: Bizer, Baravilala
Penalty Kicks: Bizer
Canada - 5
England v. South Africa
England was able to continue their dominance with an impressive 66-7 victory over the struggling South Africa team.
The first 20 minutes of the game saw South Africa take an early 7-5 lead behind a try by the fullback Chrisna Van Slicht and a successful conversion off the foot of Marithy Pienaar. But the determined England came back with exceptional poise.
England was able to fully gain control in the 20 th minute when outside-center, Amy Wilson-Hardy, was able to break through the line and give England the lead that they would never relinquish.
For the remainder of the game South Africa was smothered by the intense English defense. The relentless forward pressure by the defensive line for England created multiple South Africa turnovers that led to quick England tries.
The England forwards were also able to easily control the scrum. This allowed them to effectively attack off of set pieces and get the ball in the hands of their skilled back line, who was skillfully managed by flyhalf, Emily Scott, who kicked through three conversions and also added a try
Once England was able to get the ball outside, their wings Lucy Demaine, Rebecca Hughes, and Peedle were able to outpace the South Africa defense and record 4 tries between the four of them, Peedle scoring two.
There were three England players to record two tries: Peedle, Hannah Gallagher, who leads the Nations Cup with 5 tries, and Alexandra Matthews.
England will face the USA on Saturday July 23. The final match will be webcast live on USA Rugby’s UStream channel.
England – 66
Tries: Wilson-Hardy, Scott, Cleall, Peedle (2), Matthews (2), Gallagher (2), Demaine, Reed, Hughes
Conversions: Scott (3)
South Africa – 7
Tries: Van Slicht
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