Glendale, Colo. – Eagles Head Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, has made four changes to his team that started against Canada in Toronto last weekend.
In the forwards, prop Mike MacDonald replaces Mate Moeakiola, and hooker Phillip Thiel moves to the bench with Chris Biller starting in the number two jersey. The two backline changes see Colin Hawley replace Kevin Swiryn on the left wing, while scrumhalf Tim Usasz starts ahead of Mike Petri.
“We’ve made a few changes which allows the coaching staff to access these combinations ahead of the Japan match,” said O’Sullivan.
Last week’s clash at BMO Field drew a record crowd of 10,000 spectators. Glendale’s Infinity Park seats 4,000 – but ticket sales are well on track to sell out for the Eagles final home game before the Rugby World Cup (RWC). The training match on Wednesday evening between the local Glendale Raptors and the USA Select side was attended by almost 1,500 fans.
“Playing at home is always special, and I know the boys want to come off that field with a win. The facility at Infinity Park is excellent, with the conditions looking good for a fantastic test match. It will be great to out in front of a home crowd.” commented O’Sullivan.
The United States will be looking to reverse the 28-22 loss against Canada last time round.
Another massive outing is expected from USA captain Todd Clever, who scored two of his team’s tries last weekend. Louis Stanfill and Nic Johnson join Clever as the loose forwards. The lock combination, which worked extremely well against Canada, is Hayden Smith and John van der Giessen. Shawn Pittman retains his spot at tighthead prop, alongside Biller and MacDonald.
In the backline the young Blaine Scully starts his third test at fullback. On the wings are Hawley, who scored three tries in the USA Select match, and crowd favorite Takudzwa Ngwenya. The midfield pairing of Paul Emerick and Andrew Suniula will be key yet again to limiting the Canadian attacking options. Flyhalf Nese Malifa will be playing on his home field, with Usasz rounding out the backs.
The reserves consist of four forwards and three backs. In front row, Thiel covers the hooker position and Eric Fry, prop. Captain and Man of the Match from Wednesday’s USA Select match, Scott LaValla, is the lock replacement. Loose forward JJ Gagiano is also on the bench. The backline reserves are Petri (scrumhalf) and the talented utilities Roland Suniula and Tai Enosa.
“We’ve had an excellent week preparing for this rematch. It’s great being on home soil and we appreciate all the support!“ said captain Todd Clever.
The USA will play Canada at 7.15 P.M (9.15 P.M ET) tomorrow evening, with an exciting curtain-raiser between the Classic Eagles and Classic Canada at 5 P.M. Tickets can be purchased online at GlendaleRugby.com with the match being broadcast LIVE by NBC Universal – and available online at UniversalSports.com!
There will also be a USA Eagles Tailgate Park & Fundraiser before the match, from 4.00-7.00 P.M at the Airlines Plaza at Infinity Park. Admission to this includes both the above matches, wine tasting by Planet Bordeaux, various foods from local vendors and unlimited beer. Proceeds benefit the Eagles as they prepare for the RWC. Purchase tickets here!
USA EAGLES 15 Blaine Scully (Unattached) 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz) 13 Paul Emerick (Life University) 12 Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins) 11 Colin Hawley (Olympic Club) 10 Nese Malifa (Glendale) 9 Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC) 1 Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie) 2 Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate) 3 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh) 4 John van der Giessen (Unattached) 5 Hayden Smith (Saracens) 6 Louis Stanfill (Unattached) 7 Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath) *Captain 8 Nic Johnson (Unattached)
Reserves: 16 Phillip Thiel (Life University) 17 Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks) 18 Scott LaValla (Stade Francais) 19 Jonathan ‘JJ’ Gagiano (Univ. of Cape Town) 20 Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club) 21 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby) 22 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
Unavailable through injury: Troy Hall (NYAC), Brian McClenahan (Olympic Club), James Paterson (Highlanders), Junior Sifa (Unattached), Chris Wyles (Saracens)
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – A veteran team has Norwich University head women’s rugby coach Austin Hall thinking big things.
Senior captain and former U-20 national team player Katie Hathaway (Amesbury, Mass.) leads a team that is still fired up from their national quarterfinal loss last spring, according to Hall. Hathaway, who may be called on to play a variety of positions, is among a group of 10 returning seniors in what eighth-year head coach Austin Hall labels his “most experienced class” ever. Joining Hathaway in that group is All-American flanker Hannah Bushey (Essex Junction, Vt.). She is the all-time leading try scoring forward at Norwich and hopes to continue her strong play this season.
“We really couldn’t ask for a better senior class,” said Hall. “They bring so much in terms of leadership, experience, talent, work rate, and dedication to our program. I can see all of them having impact seasons.”
Running in support of the senior class, the juniors and sophomores entering the 2011 campaign bring their own blend of on-and-off-field success, according to Hall. Junior No. 8 Corinne McElroy (Canaan, NH), who was the 2010 Northeast Championship MVP, brings her field presence to the forward pack. McElroy is often nicknamed “Everywhere,” because she just seems to be everywhere on the field, according to Hall. Junior flyhalf Emily Baugus (Kingsville, Texas), returning team Most Valuable Player, will run the high-octane Norwich backfield. The sophomore duo of center/fullback Rose Bernheim (Andrews AFB, Maryland), who led the league in try scoring in 2010, and wing Joya Clark (Scotia, N.Y.) will provide much of the speed Baugus and the Cadets will utilize in their backfield attack.
In looking at the newcomers, Hall pointed to Emily Oor (Uxbridge, Ontario) as being “able to add additional depth and poise to the program.”
“I’m excited about the great group of students we have in the program this year,” added Hall. “We know that it takes at least 30 players to be successful at this level and each and every member of our roster will be pushed to their potential this fall. As a team that has been knocked out of nationals two years in a row now and wanting to take the next step, it’s critical that we bring our best to each practice and each game and strive to improve throughout the season.”
Norwich is scheduled to open the season August 27 with a scrimmage against the Burlington Women’s Rugby Club at the Dog River Pitch. The squad comes back September 3-4 for its annual trip to the Montreal Irish tournament and then welcomes Dartmouth College to Northfield on September 15.
ONTARIO, Canada – The USA Women’s National rugby team has been named to exact revenge for a 23-26 upset at the hands of the South Africans earlier this week in the Women’s Nations Cup. The USA will play South Africa in a battle for 3rd place at 2 p.m. ET on the campus of Appleby College in Oakville, Ontario and will be broadcast live on UStream.
The Women’s Eagles have played much better than their record in the Women’s Nations Cup might imply. The USA nearly beat England and South Africa, but last gasp tries in those matches by the opposition saw the lead slip away in the waning seconds.
Coach Pete Steinberg noted that though the losses were tough to swallow, but giving younger players experience at the highest international level is key to development in the long term.
“We wanted to see every player in an international match, and playing South Africa twice will give us a chance to see some of the younger players. We started 10 players that were capped for the first time on Tuesday and our performance was actually pretty good,” said Steinberg.
Closing out a win will be a priority for the Women’s Eagles in their final Women’s Nations Cup match and minimizing turnovers is a key area for the USA.
“We were hurt on turnovers and our kicking game and South Africa took their opportunities. It is frustrating to have played well in two games but to lose on the last play twice. However we are excited to have another opportunity to play again on Saturday and we are looking to play our best match of the tournament,” Steinberg said.
Steinberg has named a very experienced side to take the field against South Africa.
Captain Jamie Burke will lead from the front as she starts at tighthead prop. Lisa Butts and Farrah Douglas will complete the starting front row. Stacey Bridges and Laura Miller will provide power from the second row.
Shaina Turley moves from lock to the blindside flanker position after showing her ability in the open field in the last South Africa encounter. Lynelle Kugler and Kate Daley will play blindside and number eight, respectively.
The experienced Keystone scrumhalf Kim Magrini gets a start and Sadie Anderson remains at flyhalf. Samantha Pankey finds a place at inside center after playing fullback previously in the tournament. Amy Daniels is her partner at outside center.
The back three consists of Katie Dowty at left wing, Vanesha McGee at right wing and Pam Kosanke holding it down at fullback.
The match will be webcast live on UStream and live updates will be provided by USA Rugby on Twitter (@usaeaglesrugby).
USA Women’s Eagles 15 Pam Kosanke (Chicago North Shore) 14 Vanesha McGee (New York Rugby Club) 13 Amy Daniels (Beantown) 12 Samantha Pankey (James River) 11 Katie Dowty (Beantown) 10 Sadie Anderson (Penn State) 9 Kim Magrini (Keystone) 1 Farrah Douglas (DC Furies) 2 Lisa Butts (Nor Cal Triple Threat) 3 Jamie Burke, captain (Beantown) 4 Stacey Bridges (At Large) 5 Laura Miller (DC Furies) 6 Shaina Turley (San Diego Surfers) 7 Lynelle Kugler (Twin City Amazons) 8 Kate Daley (Chicago North Shore) Reserves 16 Devin Keller (Keystone) 17 Sarah Chobot (Minnesota Valkyries) 18 Lauren Daly (At Large) 19 Kittery Wagner (Beantown) 20 Carrie White (Seattle Rugby) 21 Rebecca Brafman (New York Rugby Club) 22 Kaelene Lundstrum (Twin City Amazons)
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