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Eagle Women Set to Face Scotland Friday

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Eagle Women Set to Face Scotland Friday

USA huddles up against Samoa. Photo USA Rugby.

Interim Head Coach Milton Haig has made only two changea to the gameday 23 to face Scotland in the second match of the WXV 2.

The Eagles face Scotland Friday, Oct. 20, at 8AM ET, live on RugbyPass TV. 

Meya Bizer, who left the opening game against Samoa with an injury, will cruelly be unable to take any further part in the event and Katana Howard was brought in to bolster the backline reserves. Howard replaces Bizer on the reserves bench. USA 7s player Autumn Czaplicki replaces Emily Henrich on the bench.

"We picked generally the same starting team as last week, and that's just because we were pretty happy with how the team went last week," said Haig. "We were also impressed by the people coming off the bench, so we wanted to try and repeat that this week. When you win a game, it's very hard to try and change combinations unless there are injuries. The responsibility will be on the starting team to make sure they can get us a good start, and as the game goes on in the second half we'll go to make some changes. This team has some good experience and there's some youthfulness with some of the players that are starting, so we're excited about that. Scotland are not going to be easy. They are quite a structured side, we just need to break them down, be patient, and use our skill sets."

GRR Analysis on USA WVX2 Game 1

Up front the USA were pretty strong in the scrum. The lineouts also were a strong part of their effort. The lifters have been strong but it's also due to the play of lock Hallie Taufoou, who has shown an ability to cover the field and get work done in the open field, in close, and set piece.

Compare this to the Pacific Four, where the USA went 0-3. The USA held the ball the least in that competition—42.7% of the time—and one of the reasons for that was they won only 51.6% of their lineouts. Defending lineouts was also a problem as they game up 11 of the 23 tries they coneded from lineouts.

On attack, while Mata Hingano played really well, the smooth connections we need to see in the backline aren't quite there. That takes time, and likely part of the work this week was just about settling down and playing together. 

In the Pacific Four the USA was 4th out of four in carries, meters gained, line breaks, and tackle breaks, and defensively their tackle rate of 68.2% was also the worst of the four. But there were some improvements there against Samoa last week, with much of that down to Hingano's ability to exploit space.

Also against Samoa the Eagles gave up points thanks to penalties and defensive misalignments—it was less about not being able or willing to tackle and more about players not being where they needed to be, giving Samoa chances to run right through the gaps.

Finally, key for the Eagles against Scotland will be two things: getting out of their 22 with clarity and effectiveness, and defending Scotland's very well-executed maul.

Scotland defeated South Africa 31-17 in the opening weekend and so this clash between the Eagles and the Scots will set the winner up to take the WXV2. The USA would be favored over South Africa (however they can't afford to take that game granted), so a win on Friday would set them up to finish 3-0.

USA Women’s Eagles Roster | USA v Scotland
Name Club Caps
1. Catie Benson Sale Sharks 38
2. Kathryn Treder Loughborough Lightning 14
3. Charli Jacoby Colorado Gray Wolves 22
4. Hallie Taufoou Beantown RFC 12
5. Erica Jarrell Beantown RFC 3
6. Freda Tafuna Lindenwood University 4
7. Tahlia Brody Leicester Tigers 5
8. Rachel Johnson Exeter Chiefs 23
9. Carly Waters Colorado Gray Wolves 21
10. Gabby Cantorna Exeter Chiefs 22
11. Charlotte “Lotte” Clapp Saracens 11
12. Mata Hingano USA Sevens 1
13. Kate Zackary (C) Ealing Trailfinders 33
14. Tess Feury Leicester Tigers 20
15. Bulou Mataitoga Berkeley All Blues 12
16. Paige Stathopoulos Beantown RFC 2
17. Monalisa Tupou Life West/EPA Razorbacks 4
18. Keia Mae Sagapolu Leicester Tigers 4
19. Jenny Kronish Beantown RFC 10
20. Rachel Ehrecke Colorado Gray Wolves 8
21. Taina Tukuafu Lindenwood University 4
22. Katana Howard Sale Sharks 15
23. Autumn Czaplicki USA Sevens 2
USA Women’s Eagles Traveling Staff | WXV 2
Head Coach Milton Haig  
Assistant Coach John Haggart  
Assistant Coach Melodie Bosman  
Coach Intern Karameli Faaee  
Strength & Conditioning Sylvia Braaten  
S&C Asst. Owethu Durban  
Analyst Caitlin Singletary  
Doctor Derek Hatfield  
Lead Physio Katherine Henry  
Physio McKenna Medders  
Team Manager Tiffany Lopez  
Team Liason Jongi Nokwe