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U.S. Drop 5-Pt Contest to Canada

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U.S. Drop 5-Pt Contest to Canada

The U.S. Women came close to their first win at the Youth Olympic Games but fell just short, 19-14, to Canada (1-1). The loss moves the Americans to 0-1-1.

Canada struck quickly, as Moanda Anglo took the opening kickoff deep into U.S. territory, but was pushed into the touch. Unfortunately, the Americans erred on the throw-in, and now the Canadians were able to take advantage of their well earned yardage. From the scrum, Canada built a couple of nice phases, and captain Hannah Darling hit the line with pace to burst into the try line. Lauren Kerr slotted the first of her two conversions, 7-0.

Anglo, a big, powerful runner, proved difficult to contain, but captain Tess Feury had the pace to chase her down. Feury prevented Anglo from crossing the try line in one long pursuit, and the U.S. ended up with the ball inside its 22 meter. After a couple nice gains, a turnover at midfield put Canada back on offense, and Darling fended her way to the try zone, 12-0 into the break.

Richelle Stephens came on in the second half, and she solidified her role as a difference-maker. Not only did she put points on the board, but she got to the rucks quickly and distributed nicely. That first half also marked a first look at Haley Langan, who injected a nice dose of physicality and reliability in contact.

The U.S. erred on the kickoff, giving Canada a scrum in good position. The ball worked out to the flyhalf, who held onto the ball and advanced to the defense. Just before impact, Dana Olsen slid in to help Stephens in the tackle, and that's when the tight pass to Anglo put the flyer into the gap for the try. Kerr converted for the 19-0 lead.

Stephens got the team moving off the next kickoff, getting a nice break deep into Canadian territory. The offloads did well to keep the attack alive, and some nice phases allowed Feury to eventually take on Chanelle Edwards-Challenger around the corner for the try. Stephens converted, 19-7.

With less than a minute remaining, the U.S. kept plugging away. Another long break and good, tight support eventually saw Stephens break off a ruck and shimmy through the channel and out of a tackle for the final try, which she converted, 19-14.

The U.S. is done for the day and will play its two toughest opponents - Australia and China - in tomorrow's pool play.