VIA USA RUGBY-
In a must-win match, the Women’s Eagles open the second round of pool play at IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 against Kazakhstan Tuesday. Having secured a bonus point against Ireland, the Eagles will need the victory and a bonus point by scoring four or more tries to keep the “Final in ’14” hopes alive.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 A.M. ET.
“Our goal has to be to win and score four tries,” pointed out Head Coach Pete Steinberg. “That is our only route to the [semifinals].”
Extensive changes have been made to the lineup that will promote a different style of play as well as give players a chance to affect the lineup in subsequent matches.
“We are using more of our squad with some bumps and bruises happening against Ireland,” said Steinberg of the roster changes. “Performances here will effect the selections moving forward.”
Despite changing out the tight-five, Kate Daley and Lynelle Kugler return to the back row for the second match. Both started against Ireland.
Daley, at number eight, will again captain the Eagles.
“We want to improve our turnover rate on defense,” said Daley of her expectations against Kazakhstan.
Focusing on the breakdown contest, both Steinberg and Daley are hoping for a better performance in the area, increasing “our level of physicality at the breakdown on attack and defense and execute our fundamental skills with a little more consistency.
“We want to sure up our fringe defense that Ireland attacked,” noted Steinberg.
Although the captain is anticipating a closer match from the Nomads than what was seen against New Zealand, the Black Ferns defeated Kazakhstan, 79-5.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” remarked Daley. “They are going to be a better and more prepared team coming into this game.”
Steinberg built on Daley’s statements, saying, “Kazakhstan has a good defensive structure and provided problems for the Black Ferns, despite the score. We will need to be patient on attack and build the attack through multiple phases.”
The two sides have met only once previously – during the 2010 World Cup. Being paired in pool play, the Eagles shut out the Nomads, 51-0.
In the contest, Nathalie Marchino capitalized twice for the Eagles, scoring two tries. Opening the match, the wing was also the last U.S. player to score a try in the match.
Marchino is set to start at wing Tuesday.
Naima Reddick and Sharon Blaney have also been named to the starting lineup for the 2014 contest, having started the only prior series meeting. Jamie Burke captained the Eagles during the 2010 contest, and has been selected as a reserve for the upcoming match.
Kittery Wagner will get the start at hooker, having come on as a reserve against Kazakhstan in the prior World Cup meeting.
Of note, Farrah Douglas, the Eagles Forward Skills coach, replaced Burke during the 2010 match.
The earlier match against Kazakhstan was the opening match of pool play. Following the 2010 contest, the Eagles went on to fall to Ireland in the subsequent test, 22-12.
The Eagles are rebounding from a 23-17 loss to the Irish.
Squandered opportunities from penalties frustrated the Eagles throughout the match as Ireland relied on its strong lineout maul as well as the boot of Niamh Briggs to seal the victory.
As a result, the Eagles currently sit in third place for Pool B, with New Zealand and Ireland in front. Kazakhstan is fourth having lost its match to the Black Ferns.
Womens' Eagles | v Kazakhstan
1. Naima Reddick
2. Kittery Wagner
3. Sarah Wilson
4. Lauren Daly
5. Sharon Blaney
6. Shaina Turley
7. Lynelle Kugler
8. Kate Daley (C)
9. Deven Owsiany
10. Hannah Stolba
11. Nathalie Marchino
12. Sylvia Braaten
13. Emilie Bydwell
14. Vanesha McGee
15. Akalaini "Bui" Baravilala
Kazakhstan| Starting XV
1. Irina Radzevil
2. Yelena Yevdokimova
3. Yelena Muradova
4. Lyudmila Matiyeva
5. Svetlana Karatygina
6. Symbat Zhamankulova
7. Kundyzay Baktybayeva
8. Marianna Balashova
9. Amina Baratova
10. Anna Yakovleva (C)
11. Lyudmila Sapronova
12. Balzhan Koishybayeva
13. Oxana Shadrina
14. Nigora Nurmatova
15. Aigerym Daurembayeva
Kazakhstan | Reserves
16. Olga Bakhtiguzina
17. Yelena Rogacheva
18. Yelena Kiryushina
19. Karina Proskurina
20. Anastassiya Khamova
21. Lilya Bazyaruk
22. Olga Sazonova