Playing in a deluge, the USA women's 7s team defeated Spain in overtime 10-5 to win Bronze at the Rugby World Cup 7s Sunday in Moscow.
On a day when play was suspended for a time due to thunderstorms, the field was wet and muddy for the later games. Certainly it was a mudder's course in the 3rd/4th playoff for the women. Neither team would really get their offense working because of the difficulty handling the ball and the poor footing.
As a result, the forwards were hugely influential, and the USA props Jillion Potter and Emilie Bydwell did an excellent job.
The USA took a 5-0 lead in the first half after Spain's Patricia Garcia slipped while attempting a 22 dropout. The Americans attacked from that scrum, and after a surging run from Potter, Bydwell dragged her tackler over the line.
The USA spent much of the remainder of the first half in Spanish territory, but failed to convert scoring chances. the slow footing meant support was late to the breakdowns, forcing turnovers. the best chance for the Eagles came for a tap penalty, when Kimber Rozier found Potter storming through, but the pass was forward.
The half ended with Victoria Folayan making a try-saving tackle to preserve the slim USA lead.
Despite admonition s from Head Coach Ric Suggitt to take care of the ball, the Eagles did not. Many fumbles and mistakes kept the game a slow slog. It wasn't until late that someone scored, and it was Spain. after isolating Deven Owsiany in the tackle, the Lions did a superb job of moving the ball and committing USA tacklers, leading to Angela del Pan getting enough room to run in. Fortunately for the USA the conversion as missed, and to overtime we went.
The OT didn't start well for the Eagles as Folayan fumbled the kickoff. But some exceptional USA defense got possession back, and thanks to sme smart work by Christy Ringgenberg, the Americans finally got the ball to Folayan in space.
She didn't need to be asked twice, took off, and then after another surge from the magnificent Potter, before the ball was out to Vanesha McGee for the winner.
Tries: Bydwell, MacGee
Tries: del Pan