More updates from Bryn Chivers on the USA U20s in England:
We had the early game, so our schedule was up for breakfast, walk through the game plan in tennis shoes, and off to Brunel for the game against England.
We made nine changes to the team that beat Wales, but they looked really good together yesterday so we were confident we could give England a good game.
The game was a tough one and ended in what looked like a one sided 7-42 loss, but in reality we gave England problems in a lot of areas and got beat for speed on the outside. They were big and physical, but our forwards went toe-to-toe with them and their tries were all in the corners and unconverted.
We actually finished stronger and got a try from Brittany Rose in the 67th minute, and it was a good one. Asia Donaldson found some room on the outside and took the ball to the English 22 meter line. She offloaded to Sadie and then a couple of quick offloads between the backs took the ball down to the English five meter line. A series of small rucks resulted in a penalty to the USA.
Rose was being treated for an injury when the play started. She ran 60 yards to rejoin her teammates as Brittany Houston took a quick tap and gave it to Rose. Rose then took a couple of England players with her as she put the ball down on the goal line.
We lost a couple of players to injury as Jozy Gessner re-injured the elbow she hyper extended at the U23 NASC, and Rose’s shoulder injury meant that she couldn’t continue. We have our fingers crossed that they will both be available for selection on Wednesday’s game.
The post-game meal at Brunel was fun, and both teams seemed to get along well. We were back at the Orphanage by 9:00 pm, and all the players were fast asleep long before lights out at 11:00 pm.
Has it really been eight days? This was a free day for the players and they had options on where they could go. Jeff and Sue took a group south to Stonehenge. Bryn, Curt, and Amy went up to the town of Rugby to see the birthplace of the game.
The group that went to Rugby had a wonderfully relaxed day, and the highlight was the players being allowed to run around on the field at Rugby School. Brittany Houston kicked three long range drop goals and didn’t stop smiling for an hour...she was in rugby nirvana.
The group that went off to see the big stones had a good time. They found Stonehenge fascinating, although Becky Holmes got distracted and went off to look at sheep. They spent the afternoon in Oxford on the way back, and the players got to see some of the places that are used for the interior shots in the Harry Potter movies.
The day produced a great tour moment when Maggie Reidy got distracted by a window full of shoes and walked slap bang into a lamppost. One leg and one arm shot out in front of her as it stopped her dead in her tracks.
Go here for Day 1 in England, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, and Day 8.
John Birch of the Letchworth Girls Blog let me know that he found this site: girlsrugby.org.uk, and it has over 1,000 pictures from the U20s Nations Cup so far. The site is run by Vincent and he is a volunteer photographer. Vincent is happy for the photos to be used freely for personal use, and just asks for users to consider making a donation to The Nazareth Trust. Drop Vincent a line by clicking here if you have anything vaguely commercial in mind.