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The United States opened their second day at the Youth Olympics with a disappointing 38-0 loss to Australia. Australia ran in try after try and possessed the ball for the vast majority of the match. Consistent dropped balls and lack of ball retention in contact destroyed the American attack. The first three tries Australia scored were all direct results of American turnovers (losing the ball in contact, a knock-on, and a lost lineout). This put Team USA down 21-0 at the half, a deficit to strong to overcome.
Despite an upsetting result, there were still some positives to take away from the match. In the first half American winger Michel Navarro saved a try with two try-saving tackles on the same string of phases. On her second tackle, she drove the Australian speedster out of bounds to give the ball back to the United States.
Despite the final score line, Team USA is not hanging their heads. They remain eager to continue their hard work and aspire to improve. “I think we really need to start working as a team more,” says USA player Whitney Wilson. “We need to get the ball out wide more and stick to our game plan. If we start working as a team more I really think we can do well against China and come out with a win.”
A win against China this afternoon is critical for the USA Girls as they hope to break into the top four in the pool to advance into the semifinals. “The Australia game was a tough one for the girls, but we had a good talk after the game,” says USA Head Coach Richie Walker. “Now it is my responsibility to get them ready for China, so we go out there firing and with a chance to win that game. We are looking forward to the challenge this afternoon. “
In the other girls’ matches Canada defeated Spain 36-0 and China defeated Tunisia 34-0. Team USA takes on China at 4:30am Eastern Time. A win this afternoon will put the Americans in an excellent position to advance to the semifinals.
Match Venue: Olympic Sports Park
Game Time: 9:00 AM
Match Score: Australia 38 – 0 USA
#2: Kat Ramage
#3: Haley Langan
#6: Appau Mailau
#4: Tess Feury
#7: Michel Navarro
#10: Richelle Stephens
#11: Danielle Walko-Siua
#1: Emily Prentice
#5: Whitney Wilson
#8: Dana Olsen
#9: Becca Jane Rosko
#12: Tiffany Person