February 4, 2017
Eagles Women 7s Take Silver at Sydney 7s
The Eagles Women’s Sevens advanced to the Cup Finals against Canada at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series – Sydney Sevens with a 19-12 win over the New Zealand Black Ferns. Canada defeated the Olympic Champions Australia 12-7 to make it a North American Final.
This was the first time that there has been a North American Final and it is a credit to the hard work from both teams. It was an action packed match in which Canada won 21-17 against the USA. So both teams will now play in the third leg of the HSBC World Women’s Rugby Sevens Series, the Las Vegas Sevens as the defending Gold and Silver medalists.
There were also individual honors for both teams. Naya Tapper from the Eagles was named the Final Player of the Match. She and Alev Kelter were also selected to the tournament Dream Team, along with Canada players Jen Kish, Ghislaine Landry and Brittany Binn.
USA v Canada Recap
Canada kicked to begin the match and it was tapped by a Canadian player. Cheta Emba kicked ahead and it was retrieved by Canada to go on the attack. Ghislaine Landry noticed that a sweeper was not back and kicked behind the USA team.
After a Kayla Moleschi break for Canada that resulted in a penalty by Canada. During this breakdown Alev Kelter sustained a cut and needed to leave the pitch for the remainder of the first half and a blood substitution was made.
The penalty did yield positive results for the USA as Kayla Canett dummied and Naya Tapper evaded a tackler for a try under the posts. The conversion was made and the USA led 7-0.
Canada grabbed the restart and the ball went wide with Brittany Benn going down the wing for a try. Landry converted and the match was tied at 7.
Nicole Heavirland secured the restart with Cheta Emba powering her way into three defenders, however a penalty put Canada on the attack. A Jen Kish offload to Charity Williams had her sidestep Naya Tapper and go in for a try. Landry converted again and Canada had their first lead 14-7 just prior to halftime.
Kelter returned to the match to begin the second half. A forward pass by Canada led to a USA attack where Nicole Heavirland offloaded the ball to Cheta Emba and then to Tapper for her second try and narrowed the score to 14-12.
Canada struck right back from a lineout as Bianca Farella powered ahead and offloaded to Megan Lukan and back to Farella for the try. With Landry’s third conversion the score was 21-12.
The USA added another try after Kelly Griffin attack that went wide to Naya Tapper for her third try of the match. This narrowed the score to 21-17.
There would be time for one restart, but Canada secured possession and Landry kicked the ball into touch for the win and a gold medal. Both teams played well and the USA will be leave with silver medals. That is a turnaround performance from Dubai.
The teams will now turn their attention to prepare for the Las Vegas Sevens, March 3-4, 2017. The pools for Las Vegas should be drawn soon.
Women’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Sydney7s
1. Cheta Emba 2. Kristen Thomas 3. Kelly Griffin 4. Ryan Carlyle 5. Nicole Heavirland 6. Alev Kelter 7. Naya Tapper 8. Kate Zackary 9. Joanne Fa’avesi 10. Kayla Canett 11. Hope Rogers 12. Sarah Buonopane