You are here
Tomorrow, Tuesday August 22, at noon Eastern time, NBC Sports will televise the USA vs. New Zealand Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals. The other semifinals of England vs France kicks off at 2:45 p.m. (ET). Both games in Belfast, Ireland.
The Black Ferns, ranked second in the world, are heavily favored to win the match. New Zealand did not advance to the semis in the 2014 WRWC, losing to Ireland in pool play and totaling the fifth highest point total. The Black Ferns defeated the USA for fifth place in that Paris-based tournament.
For the Eagles, the two main differences between this World Cup and the 2014 event have been an easier pool that allowed advancement via bonus point, four tries per game scoring, and the increased participation of USA Sevens' players, particularly the backs, Tapper, Thomas, and Kelter. The trio, experienced at scoring tries, added speed and points generation to the USA XV side.
The USA have not reached the semi-final round since the event's third tournament in 1998. The Eagles show one win and two second place finishes.
World Rugby offered the following data on the pool stages:
- A total 981 points were scored, comprised of 161 tries, 79 conversions and six penalties;
- New Zealand were the top points and the top try scorers with 213 and 35;
- Canada winger Magali Harvey led scorers with 51 points;
- Seven players have scored hat-tricks; New Zealand ‘s Portia Woodman, Selica Winiata and Aldora Itunu, Frenchbacks Caroline Ladagnous and Shannon Izar, Canada winger Magali Harvey, and England winger Kay Wilson (pictured above against Spain);
- Woodman and USA winger Naya Tapper beat the most defenders with 26; and,
- World Rugby registered more than 17-million views of video content on its digital platforms.