After an exciting men's tournament, the women kicked off pool play Thursday in Tokyo. The U.S. faced China in their opening match for Pool C. The Americans dominated the second half, walking away with a 28-14 win.
Midway through the first half, Wang Wanyu of China broke the scoreless tie, taking advantage of space created by the U.S. team bunching too much near the breakdown.
The Americans seemed rattled by the try until Kris Thomas broke a tackle and found the end of the try zone, tying the score at seven all. The U.S. played strong defense all match, especially near the end of the first half, keeping the ball near the 50. The two teams entered the break still tied at seven.
Two minutes into the second half, the U.S. stole a lineout and veteran Alev Kelter did the heavy work drawing defenders, creating space for Kristi Kirshe to make it 14-7. After the try, the Americans started to pick up momentum. Kirshe executed a beautiful stiff arm to score her second try of the day.
A minute later, Lauren Doyle carried the ball most of the way down the field only to get chased down, but teammate Kayla Canett was in the perfect position to support and brought the ball into the try.
Chen Keyi of China did tack on a try as time was expiring by kicking the ball and chasing it down herself, making the final score 28-14.