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Just Not Good Enough, Say Eagle Women

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Just Not Good Enough, Say Eagle Women

USA moves the ball vs Canada. Photo Sandra's Sports Shots.

After the USA lost 50-7 yesterday at Dignity Health Sports Park, the usually jovial and smiling Rachel Johnson was direct and clear.

"We need to be accountable to what we have to do to perform well and we will do that. We are in a better place. We have a Head Coach who is here for us and an attack plan that works for us. We have expectations. Now we have to do it. We have to go out there and do what we're saying we're going to do."

At 17-7 at halftime the Eagles were well within grasp of the Canadian team. But the USA plan for the second half—win the territorial battle; retain possession; launch their attack plan—never happened.

"It's hard to get it to the wing when you're not winning clean ball," said Emily Henrich. "We knew Canada was going to be strong at the breakdown, but our handling errors let us down. It was execution [of skills] on the day. We needed possession and we needed to play well under pressure ... and it just wasn't good enough."

Those comments should give fans hope for the future. It was a rather blunt look in the mirror—the players were saying it was their mistakes, their inability to handle high-pressure test match rugby, their quality control.

It was just not good enough. Not us saying it ... it's the players saying it.

Rugby, after all, is a very physical game. If you can't hold onto the ball when you're tackled, you're in trouble. If you can't be powerful over the ball in the ruck—and rucks happen a lot in the game—and if you can't get to the ruck quickly, then you're in trouble

"Rugby is a game of physicality and momentum," added Johnson. "We had those moments and then other moments would let us down. It's about stringing those pieces of momentum together."