Santa Barbara, CA - The USA U20 Women began their Nations Cup campaign this afternoon against South Africa, a team that played its third international test ever. For such a young, inexperienced squad, the Springboks put up a good fight, but the dominating American forwards enabled a 27-3 victory.
South Africa got up first with a penalty (3-0) but it would be the only lead the visitors would enjoy. Penalties and unenforced errors marred play, and South Africa was served with several yellow cards that resulted in one red card. It opened up some opportunity for the USA attack, and fullback Amelia Bizer put her team on the board with a penalty of her own, 3-3.
Another RSA penalty set up a USA scrum that saw the forwards pummel the line for the game's first try (8-3). The USA forwards overwhelmed their smaller opposition, in both set pieces and in tight, and it was a battle that South African coach Kaya Malotana anticipated. The Springboks did a good job of keeping the score closer than it should have been, holding up several forward attempts to dot the ball down.
But the USA forwards would have the last word of the half, taking a driving maul off a lineout for another try, 13-3 into the break.
The backs got into the scoring action in the second half by capitalizing on a stolen scrum. The final points came from another rumbling series from the forwards and Bizer slotted both extras, 27-3.
In other news, England handled Canada to a 39-0 win and prepare to play the USA on July 17. Stay tuned for a detailed match report.