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The USA Women's National 15s team opened up their three-match November tour with a 34-20 defeat of Italy in Roma SUnday.
The Eagles led 29-0 before giving up three late Italy tries to make it interesting.
The USA forwards set the tone early with some huge collisions, and it was the pack that did the scoring. A lineout-and-maul got the first try, with No.8 Kate Daley capping off a good move from the entire pack and then added her second ten minutes later. Captain prop Jamie Burke powered over to make it, with two Sadie Anderson conversions, 19-0 at halftime.
Amy Daniels was a force in the midfield, and Daley was the source of much go-forward. Daley and Burke combined to shove the Azzurri back early in the second half, setting the stage for a penalty kick from Anderson to make it 22-0.
The forwards set up the next try also, shoving the Italy eight back and giving room for the backs to run - Amy Daniels went over and Anderson's conversion made it 29-0.
At that point USA Coach Pete Steinberg rang the changes and Italy got some momentum as well.
A penalty converted into a lineout and maul gave Italy their first points, and then a turnover gave Italy a long range score and suddenly it was 29-14.
More pressure from Italy got them a penalty to inch closer at 29-17. That put Italy within two scores, but the USA backs put it away, as a nifty interplay between Anderson, Ashley Kmiecik and Val Griffeth led to Griffeth going over in the corner.
Italy added a penalty, but that was it, 34-20.
In the end, it was a nice win for a USA team that had only been together for a few days. They dominated the first 60 minutes or so, but then allowed Italy back in it.
Tries: Forwards, Bridges, Burke, Daniels, Griffeth
Convs: Anderson 3
Tries: Severin, Sillari
Convs: Schiavon 2
Pens: Schiavon 2
ITALY: Furlan; Veronese (49 Sillari); Cioffi;
Zangirolami (70 Tondinelli); Castellarin (75 Chindamo); Veronica
Schiavon; Barattin; Severin; Gaudino cap.; Zublena
(67 Molic); Trevisan; Ruzza (41 Este); Gai (75 Ferrari);
Ballerini (67 Coulibaly); Nespoli (41 Bettoni).
USA: Rozier, Kmiecik, Daniels (61 Griffith), Pankey, Moreno, Anderson (75 Stolba), White (54 Lui), Daley, Kungler (41 Denham), Turley, Blandey (61 Meysner), Bridges, Burke (54 Wilson), Wangler (63 Augustin), Chobot (48 Reddick).
Referee: Claire HODNETT (England)
Asst. Referees: Barbar GUASTINI and Federica GUERZONI
4th Official: Beatrice BENVENUTI.