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Women Nations Cup Notes

Thursday Aug 20, 2009 in Women National Teams

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The women’s Nation’s Cup has been a huge success for almost all the teams involved.

South Africa finished last, true, but they did tie France and came away with some measure of success, not least of which was holding England to under 30.

All the games have been webcast live on ustream.tv, and while the production isn’t top-of-the-line, you’ve got to give kudos to Rugby Canada’s Doug Crosse, who has so far narrated eight test matches in over ten days, and done so with intelligence and respect.

Accommodations at Appleby College have been quite nice, although is there something to be read into the fact that the USA and the referees are in the only dorms without air conditioning? Hmm …

And speaking of referees, the nurturing of those remains a sore topic. Women’s refs need help developing, but there doesn’t seem to be a referee coach there, and the refs wouldn’t even have been mic’d had it not been for USA ref Dana Teagarden, who brought her own set (let’s hope she gets it back). The IRB, Rugby Canada, or USA Rugby could have stepped in with a referee coach.

Clare Daniels, who officiated USA v. Canada, did a superb job, which is nice for us to be able to say about an English ref.

Injuries have hit the USA team as they face a very strong France side on Saturday. Jillion Potter left the Canada match with what is a suspected broken clavicle or a dislocated shoulder. Nathalie Marchino left that game with an unspecified leg injury. Meanwhile Hannah Stolba, who started the USA’s opening match, has not returned after being injured in that game.

It’s worth noting that the players who have been true standouts for the USA are those who have been in the regularly-competing 7s program, along with some recent college standouts. Amy Daniels, a 7s regular, has been outstanding, and Christy Ringgenberg’s play is just screaming for her to get a regular start at wing or, dare we say it, fullback.

This should be no surprise – the same has happened with the USA men’s team. The IRB 7s series, even the unofficial women’s one, creates internationals.

It’s all to play for Saturday, for the most part. England is assured first place. South Africa is assured 5th. If the USA ties France and secures a bonus point of four tries scored, they finish second; the Eagles also secure second with a win, of course.

Canada can get second with a win over England (very unlikely given England’s form so far) and a France win. If USA ties and doesn’t score four tries, and Canada wins a bonus-point victory over England, then Canada can get second.

France can be second as well if they beat the USA. For the Eagles, the best thing to target is this: win and you’re second.


- Alex Goff and Jackie Finlan

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