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The USA Girls suffered a 29-7 defeat to China during pool-play; however, it was one of their stronger performances thus far. The Chinese girls have been living together in Nanjing for the past year. They go to school for two hours a day, and train together for the remainder of their time. Overall, China is a very seasoned side, and the USA Girls played them hard.

The United States started off very strong. Dana Olsen put a great hit on a Chinese attacker and knocked the ball loose. She then got to her feet, gathered the ball, and sent a beautiful pass out to Becca Jane Rosko, who ran thirty meters down the sideline for the try. Richelle Stephens converted to give the Americans a 7-0 lead. Moments later Dana Olsen went down with an injury, and Team USA was left covering the field with six players. A series of missed tackles ensued and the Chinese scored a try in the corner, missing the conversion. The Americans finished the half by losing the ball in contact twice, both of which led to tries. The Chinese went into halftime with a 17-5 lead. Although the United States looked really strong for most of the game, a couple long breaks by China in the second half resulted in tries, giving them a 29-7 victory. The box score does not give justice to the improvement Team USA made, however. There were less knock-ons and general mistakes in comparison to the earlier pool games. Additionally, the Americans strung together several nice phases against a potent Chinese team.

With the Americans still in medal contention and drastic improvement in their quality of play, players and spectators were proud of the effort Team USA put out there. “Every game we have been trying to build up and work better as a team,” says USA Captain Tess Feury. “We worked really well together and were very aggressive in contact, which is what we have been aiming to do.”

The team certainly battled through the full fourteen minutes, even when things were not going their way. “I think we played really aggressive this game and never let down for the entire match,” says USA hooker Kat Ramage. “We improved our defense quite a bit as well.”

Team USA will look to continue their improvement in their must-win match tomorrow against Tunisia at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. In the other pool matches Canada handled Tunisia 43-12, while Spain suffered a 39-0 loss to Australia. 

 

Match Venue: Olympic Sports Park

Game Time: 4:30 PM

Match Score: China 29 – 7 USA

 

Starting Lineup:

#3: Haley Langan

#5: Whitney Wilson

#4: Tess Feury

#10: Richelle Stephens

#12: Tiffany Person

#9: Becca Jane Rosko

#8: Dana Olsen

 

Substitutes:

#1: Emily Prentice

#2: Kat Ramage

#6: Appau Mailau

#11: Danielle Walko-Siua

#7: Michel Navarro