The Sacramento Amazons were a highlight of the women’s club championships this weekend. No other team – Women’s Premier League, DI or DII – sported the combination of size, agility and power, punctuated by an incredible spirit and light-heartedness off the field.
The Amazons came from behind on Friday during the quarterfinals, beating Portland 26-15 for a berth to the semifinals against Raleigh. On Saturday, the team was down 27-7 at half and rallied to within one point against the eventual champions.
On the third consecutive day of competition, Sacramento took on Albuquerque for 3rd place and defeated last year’s finalist 29-7. Both sides were exhausted for this final game, and having to deal with the most physical team in the DII competition stressed Albuquerque to the point of a yellow card.
“It was interesting,” Sacramento coach Mary Swantrom said. “All of the things we were getting penalized for all weekend – not coming in through the gate, collapsing the rucks, diving over – were what the other team was getting penalized for today. So we could see it from the other side and it taught us a lot. It was happening to Albuquerque because they weren’t used to having to hit that hard. I was proud of our girls for not capitalizing on it in a mean way; they weren’t trying to drag them down or stomp on them like a lot of other teams would do.”
Weekend MVP Ofolangi Mailangi was impossible to contain from the flyhalf position and accounted for three tries on the day. Inside center Diana Sela Langi was equally as dangerous and dotted down for a try, while the previous day's MVP, Diana Bowers, also added a five-pointer. Sui Green contributed two conversions.
Sacramento finished 2-1 on their first trip to nationals, and they impressed the field. The national championship looks forward to seeing this squad next year, with a bounty of experience to improve their performance.