USA Women’s Eagles Sevens 4th at São Paulo

February 22, 2016

USA Women’s Eagles Sevens 4th at São Paulo


Doug Coil

The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens traveled to São Paulo, Brazil for the second leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. In Dubai they finished in 11th place and hoped to show that this was a fluke performance.

In the Brazil Sevens Jules McCoy changed six players from the previous squad and took 4th place in São Paulo. This moved the USA into 8th place in the standing. The teams 4th through 7th are within striking distance. Australia has shown so far they are the team to beat in the series, while New Zealand and Canada are tied in points for second.

The third leg of five, HSBC Atlanta 7s, will be held in Kennesaw, Ga., April 8-9. Pools and match times for the Friday and Saturday tournament will be announced ahead of the weekend.

Pool Play – Saturday, February 20th

USA v New Zealand

The USA faced New Zealand in their first pool B match. New Zealand controlled most of the restarts and were able to exploit the USA defense for 5 tries. Jill Potter had a try for the Eagles.

USA v Russia

In the Second match, the USA were better able to show their capabilities in a 19-10 win over Russia. The Russians choose to kick deep instead of defending restarts. This lead to an early Russia lead as a deep kick went into touch. Eagles defended, but Megan Bonny was cited for an illegal tackle and was issued a yellow card. Russia took advantage with Arina Bystrova touching down a try.

A Bonny steal of a Russia lineout setup a Kelter run that resulted in a Bui Barabilala try. This knotted the score at 5 apiece and this was the way the half ended.

The USA Women’s Sevens would gain the lead with a Jillian Potter pop pass to Alev Kelter, which resulted in a try under the posts. Kelter also converted and the Eagles lead 12-5. Potter won the ensuing restart and Rachel Griendling side stepped a defender for a try. She also converted and the USA led 19-5.

Russia was able to get the final try as a penalty from the breakdwon resulted in a Anna Gavrilyuk try in the corner. Final score USA 19-10 Russia.

USA v Spain

This last pool match would determine whether the United States or Spain would advance to the Cup quarterfinals Sunday. The Eagles dominated the match in gaining a 33-0 victory.

Rachel Griendling gained the first try after an offload from Megan Bonny sprung her for the try. A Kristen Thomas tackle and counterruck by Jillion Potter led to an Alev Kelter try under the posts for a 14-0 halftime lead.

Kristen Thomas would begin the second half with a try of her own in a long run down the wind. Ashley Perry scored another in the 12th minute after beating two defenders. It was her first international try.

Lightning in the area halted play, but when it resumed Naya Tapper also had her debut try and a win.

The Eagles in going 2-1 in Pool play finished in second place and would meet England in the Cup Quarterfinals on day two.

Cup Quarterfinals: USA v England

This was a key match for both sides. The USA needed a win to prove that they were back as one of the top women’s teams in the series. They did just that in a convincing 22-12 win and advance to the Cup Semi-finals.

Kristen Thomas showcased her speed in opening the scoring with a 70 meter try. She then helped set up another attack which ended with Kelter barreling into a defender and Bui Baravilala touching down a try.

England finally had its first real scoring opportunity in the final minute with Sarah McKenna finding a seam in the defense. Kelter chased and the ball became loose. Thomas picked and was off to the races for a 17-0 halftime lead.

The second half featured England on the attack. Heather Fisher had an impressive run for a try and Joanne Watmore followed with another in the corner. The lead was cut to 17-12.

In the 13th minute, Ryan Carlyle completed a kick pass to Jessica Javalet who then blazed down the pitch for a try and sealed the win.

Cup Semi-final: USA v Australia

Australia proved to be too much for the Eagles in gaining a 34-0 win. Although the Eagles would apply defensive pressure in spurts, Australia pierced the defense for six tries. Australia would go on to win the Brazil Sevens over Canada and sits comfortably in the top position in the standings.

3rd Place: USA v New Zealand

This was a rematch of the first Pool play match. Although the result was the same, the USA performed better. New Zealand won 28-0 and the USA Women’s Eagles Sevens settled for 4th place and gained 14 points for a total of 16 points in the series. This had them in 8th place in the standings.

After holding the powerful New Zealand side in check for most of the first half, Portia Woodman was able to score the opening try. At halftime the score was 7-0 in favor of New Zealand.

During the second half, New Zealand’s Niall Williams, Kelly Brazier and Sarah Gros tries, which were all converted by Tyla Nathan-Wong led to the 28-0 win over the USA.

Atlanta 7s – April 8-9th

The Eagles now have momentum for the third round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series as it moves to Atlanta. The team will be able to review the matches, make adjustments and enter the series on a positive note. Victoria Folayan should also be ready to join the series, giving the team extra speed and power. The latter, is a decision for Jules McCoy.

In other news, Chris Ryan joined the team as Assistant Coach prior to the Brazil Sevens and has been working with the other players in the Pool at Chula Vista. He is an outstanding addition to the program and has worked for many years with Coach McCoy. His teams have been known for its defense and it has been evident with Atlantis teams, the Elite City 7s, Princeton Women and with the Delaware Men.

The Eagles have over a month to train, improve and this should be evident in Atlanta.

Women’s Eagles Sevens Squad: Brazil Women’s Sevens
1. Megan Bonny 2. Kelly Griffin (C) 3. Jillion Potter 4. Alev Kelter 5. Bui Baravilala 6. Kristen Thomas 7. Jessica Javelet 8. Ashley Perry 9. Ryan Carlyle 10. Joanne Fa’avesi
11. Rachel Griendling 12. Naya Tapper

New Zealand  v. USA – Pool
1. Ruby Tui 2. Michaela Blyde 3. Hazel Tubic 4. Niall Williams 5. Sarah Goss 6. Gayle Broughton 7. Tyla Nathan-Wong 8. Kelly Brazier 9. Huriana Manuel 10. Katarina Whata-Simpkins 11. Portia Woodman 12. Kayla McAlister

Women’s Eagles Sevens 5  Tries: Potter  New Zealand  35 Tries: Broughton, McAlister (2), Manuel, Brazier Conversions: Tyla-Wong (5)

Russia  v. USA
1. Daria Bobkova 2. Arina Bystrova 3. Ekaterina Bankerova 4. Zhanna Matveeva 5. Anna Gavrilyuk 6. Daria Lushina 7. Daria Fefelova 8. Marina Kukina 9. Maria Shemchuk 10. Ekaterina Kazakova 11. Yulia Ledovskaya 12. Elena Zdrokova

Women’s Eagles Sevens: 19 Tries: Baravilala, Kelter, Griendling Conversions: Kelter, Griendling Russia: 10 Tries: Bystrova, Gavrilyuk  

Spain v. USA
1. Berta Garcia 2. Paula Medin 3. Angela Del Pan 4. Patricia Garcia 5. Amaia Erbina 6. Elisabet Martinez 7. Iera Echebarria 8. Irene Schiavon 9. Maria Casado 10. Vanessa Rial 11. Lourdes Alameda 12. Teresa Bueso

Women’s Eagles Sevens: 33 Tries: Griendling, Kelter, Thomas, Perry, Tapper Conversions: Kelter (3), Griffin Spain: 0

England v. USA – Cup QF
1. Claire Allan 2. Natasha Brennan 3. Alice Richardson 4. Abigail Brown 5. Sarah McKenna
6. Katy Mclean 7. Heather Fisher 8. Marlie Packer 9. Natasha Hunt 10. Joanne Watmore
11. Vicky Fleetwood 12. Amy Wilson-Hardy

Women’s Eagles Sevens: 22 Tries: Thomas (2), Baravilala, Javelet Conversions: Baravilala England: 12 Tries: Fisher, Watmore Conversions: McKenna

Australia  v. USA – Cup SF
1. Shannon Parry 2. Taleena Simon 3. Nicole Beck 4. Gemma Etheridge 5. Emma Tonegato
6. Evania Pelite 7. Charlotte Caslick 8. Mahalia Murphy 9. Amy Turner 10. Alicia Quirk 11. Emilee Cherry 12. Ellia Green

Women’s Eagles Sevens: 0 Australia: 34 Tries: Green (2), Turner (2), Parry, Caslick
Conversions: Cherry (2)

New Zealand  v. USA – 3rd Place
1. Ruby Tui 2. Michaela Blyde 3. Hazel Tubic 4. Niall Williams 5. Sarah Goss 6. Gayle Broughton 7. Tyla Nathan-Wong 8. Kelly Brazier 9. Huriana Manuel 10. Katarina Whata-Simpkins 11. Portia Woodman 12. Kayla McAlister

Women’s Eagles Sevens: 0 New Zealand: 28 Tries: Woodman, Williams, Brazier, Goss
Conversions: Nathan-Wong (4)

Women’s Eagles Sevens | Brazil Women’s Sevens
v. New Zealand – L 35-5
v. Russia – W 19-10
v. Spain – W 33-0
Cup QF v. England – W 22-12
Cup SF v. Australia – L 34-0
Third-Place v. New Zealand – L 28-0

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant