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Rogers The Engine Behind Close USA Win Over Scotland

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Rogers The Engine Behind Close USA Win Over Scotland

All hugs for Rogers after her second try.

A second try from USA star prop Hope Rogers turned a 17-16 deficit into a 21-17 lead for the USA over Scotland, and the Eagles held on to beat the Scots in Edinburgh Saturday.

This was a pretty strong showing by Scotland. They got a well-taken maul try from hooker Lana Skeldon to open the scoring six minutes in and were always threatening to win this game. The Eagles responded with some consistent pressure and got a penalty goal from fullback Alev Kelter, followed just a few minutes later with Rogers thundering over for her first of the day.

That made it 8-7 USA, but Scotland responded admirably, with wing Rhonda Lloyd fending off Kelter and making a charge for the line. Helen Nelson's touchline conversion put the score at 14-8 for Scotland at 20 minutes.

But the USA seemed to settle down after that. Gabby Cantorna slotted a penalty goal, and then just as halftime approached some quick hands down the line set up a try for captain Kate Zackary. In that movement, a quick pop out of contact from Rogers and a very smart pass from a standstill to Zackary moving forward caught the Scots bunched up. Zackary put her head down and went for the line from 30 meters out to make it 16-14 USA.

Nelson took a bit of the momentum back with a penalty at the stroke of halftime for a 17-16 lead.

In the second half, there was just one score. As the game wore on it seemed more and more on a knife edge. And then from consistent pressure the Eagles for a penalty, and Rogers tapped and charged on into a wall of Scottish players. Three Scots wrapped her up but that wasn't enough and the former Penn State star crashed over the line for the go-ahead try.

It proved to be the game-winner as the USA held on 21-17. While it would have been nice from a USA fan's perspective to see the Eagles ice this one with another try or a couple of penalties, they did manage to hold onto the win.