USA qualified with some ease for the Olympics, powering their way through the North America Caribbean regional qualifiers at the weekend.
USA thrashed Mexico 88-0 in the final with Lauren Doyle, Kelly Griffin, and Kate Zackary recording hat tricks in the 20-minute match after the Eagles demonstrated their intent with a rampage through Saturday’s pool play and the Sunday knockout rounds.
In the five matches prior to the Final, the US outscored its opponents 281-5.
“The fans come and pay money and they want to see great rugby,” Head Coach Ric Suggitt said after the match. “It’s not like we’re going out there to run up the score; that wasn’t the intent. The intent was to play good, clean, fast, wide-open, running rugby.
“[The 2015 NACRA Sevens Championship event] sure demonstrates the difference. That’s the reality of it. That’s where we are with women’s rugby in our region. It’s like the ‘Dream Team’ with Charles Barkley and them at the Olympics. They beat everyone by 60 points.”
“We had the year mapped out and we knew if we did a good enough job on the Series we’d qualify, and then we knew if we didn’t we’d be ready for this,” Suggitt said. “So there’s no bitterness or anything.
“It’s sport – one team wins, one team loses. We had 36 games to get it right on the Series and we missed out by one game. We weren’t going to let that happen here.”
One nation not in attendance at the eight-team women’s competition in North Carolina was Canada, which finished second on the Series. The U.S. will face its border rival in a round robin pool play at the Pan-American Games in Toronto next month, along with other nations from the Americas.
“Now we have to get ready because the competition will be stiff again in the Pan-Am Games,” Suggitt said. “We have our archenemy up north of us. They’ve had the best of us recently but we’re closing the gap. It gives us another opportunity to play some really good rugby games ahead of next season and the Olympics.
“It’s like base camp climbing up Mount Everest. We’re there now. Now we know where we have to be in August of 2016. That’s what we have 14 months to prepare for.”
Elsewhere at the tournament, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago finished second and third to ensure they will play in the Olympic reparcharge.
See here for a full list of results