USA Women’s Rugby team poses with supporters outside of Scion restaurant. Photo by Mike Diegel.

The U.S. women’s rugby team has made it to the Women’s Rugby World Cup semifinals for the first time since 1998.

The team will play the New Zealand Black Ferns, who won their pool, at noon tomorrow (Aug. 22) and the match will be televised by NBC Sports. The Black Ferns have won the Cup four times and is ranked number one in the world.

The Eagles qualified for the semifinals by first defeating Italy, 24-12, in the team’s opening match. They shut out Spain in their second match, winning 43-0.

The team then faced defending World Cup champion England in the final match of pool play. The Eagles fell 47-26 but scored a try (analogous to an American football touchdown) on the past play of the game to earn a bonus point in the pool standings.

That bonus point allowed the team to edge rival Canada and host Ireland for the final spot in the semis as the best runner-up team. Pool winners England and France will play in the other semifinal.

Prior to leaving for Ireland, Scion restaurant on East West Highway hosted the Eagles for a send-off dinner that also served as a fundraiser to help offset the team’s World Cup expenses.

Mike Diegel