HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series

Women Eagles Sevens Second in Pool at Kitakyushu

April 22, 2017

Women Eagles Sevens Second in Pool at Kitakyushu

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Photo: HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens

Doug Coil

The USA Women’s Rugby Sevens team went 2-1 in Pool C at the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series – HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens and advanced to the Cup Quarterfinals against Fiji. All matches are being broadcast in the USA on The Rugby Channel.

On Day One, the USA defeated Spain 19-10, beat England 27-5 and lost to Canada 29-12 to advance to the Cup Quarterfinals.

The USA entered the the fourth leg of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in fifth place and improvement in performance has been evident.

USA v Spain

The USA raced out to a 19-0 halftime lead, before Spain came back with two second half tries to narrow the final score to 19-10.

Head Coach Richie Walker named Griffin, Fa’avesi, Thomas, Kelter, Heavirland, Tapper and Sanders as starters for the first match against Spain.

Seattle Saracens’ Megan Sanders made her Series debut and Jordan Gray, who entered the match during the second half, also made her debut.

The USA Women’s Sevens began the scoring in the second minute as Kristen Thomas fended and grounded the ball in the right corner. Alev Kelter then converted for a 7-0  lead. Alev Kelter added a second try and conversion for the Eagles in the 6th minute, before Kelly Griffin crossed the line prior to the break for a 19-0 lead.

During the second half, Spain added two tries by Patricia Garcia and Maria Casado, to narrow the final score to 19-10.

USA Women’s Eagles Sevens: 1. Joanne Fa’avesi 2. Kristen Thomas 3. Kelly Griffin 4. Nicole Heavirland 5. Lilly Durbin 6. Alev Kelter (C) 7. Naya Tapper 8. Jordan Gray 9. Kelsi Stockert 10. Megan Sanders 11. Bulou Mataitoga 12. Nicole Snyder

Spain v. USA: 1. Maria Losada 2. Olivia Fresneda 3. Amaia Erbina 4. Patricia Garcia 5. Uribarri Barrutieta 6. Nerea Agruirre 7. Barbara Pla 8. Sabina Hurtado 9. Maria Casado 10. Raquel Garcia 11. Eira Echebarria 12. Maria Ribera

USA v England

After an early try by Joanne Watmore for England, the USA stormed back on the strength of three first half tries by Naya Tapper to take a 17-5 lead at the break. Kristen Thomas and Lilly Durbin added second half tries to win 27-5 and secured a spot in the Cup Quarterfinals at the HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens.

Against England, Head Coach Richie Walker continued the same starting lineup of Griffin, Fa’avesi, Thomas, Kelter, Heavirland, Tapper and Sanders that started against Spain.

Joanne Watmore beat a Nicole Heavirland tackle for a try two minutes into the match for a 5-0 lead. The restart went into touch and after Alev Kelter went into contact, Naya Tapper leveled the score at 5 all.

Megan Sanders eluded two defenders on the restart and the ball went wide to Naya Tapper to take a 10-5 lead. Joanne Fa’avesi set up a switch and Tapper added her hat trick prior to the break. After Kelter’s conversion the score was 17-5 at halftime.

Three minutes into the second half, Kristen Thomas picked up a loose ball and found a gap to extend the lead to 22-5. Alev Kelter then took on two defenders, forcing Amy Wilson-Hardy to loose the ball forward and Tapper secured possession.

With the outcome of the match no longer in doubt, Bulou Mataitoga picked up a loose ball, while Jordan Gray and Nicole Snyder advanced the ball near the try line. Lilly Durbin took the ball from the breakdown and grounded it over the line for a 27-5 win.

USA Women’s Eagles Sevens: 1. Joanne Fa’avesi 2. Kristen Thomas 3. Kelly Griffin 4. Nicole Heavirland 5. Lilly Durbin 6. Alev Kelter (C) 7. Naya Tapper 8. Jordan Gray 9. Kelsi Stockert 10. Megan Sanders 11. Bulou Mataitoga 12. Nicole Snyder

England v. USA: 1. Emily Scott 2. Abbie Brown 3. Alice Richardson 4. Millie Wood 5. Katy Mclean 6. Deborah Fleming 7. Heather Fisher 8. Meg Jones 9. Sarah McKenna 10. Joanne Watmore 11. Holly Aitchison 12. Amy Wilson Hardy

USA v Canada

The USA and Canada entered their final pool play match with 2-0 records and were both advancing to the Cup Quarterfinals. This match would determine the winner of the pool and also determine the seedings in the Quarterfinals.

Canada, the third ranked team in the Series, proved to be a difficult opponent and emerged with a 29-12 win.

Ghislaine Landry kicked the opening restart deep into USA territory. After Naya Tapper advanced the ball, the ball was turned over at the breakdown. Canada then did the same and Tapper almost went in for a try. A penalty then led to a Megan Sanders pass to Alev Kelter for a try and a 7-0 lead.

Bianca Farella and Jen Kish pierced the U.S. defense and Ghisline Landry scored under the posts. After her conversion the score was knotted at 7 all.  After a lineout Farella beat Sanders and Kelter for a try and a 14-7 lead. On the restart, Kristen Thomas caught the ball and broke two tackles for a long run, cutting the lead to 14-12 at the break.

The Eagles attacked to begin the second half, but good defense by Canada turned over the ball, allowing Landry to add her second try. Julia Greenshields and Charity Williams added final tries for a 29-12 win.

USA Women’s Eagles Sevens: 1. Joanne Fa’avesi 2. Kristen Thomas 3. Kelly Griffin 4. Nicole Heavirland 5. Lilly Durbin 6. Alev Kelter (C) 7. Naya Tapper 8. Jordan Gray 9. Kelsi Stockert 10. Megan Sanders 11. Bulou Mataitoga 12. Nicole Snyder

Canada v. USA: 1. Brittany Benn 2. Julia Greenshields 3. Sara Kaljuvee 4. Breanne Nicholas 5. Ashley Steacy 6. Charity Williams 7. Jennifer Kish 8. Bianca Farella 9. Ghislaine Landry 10. Hannah Darling 11. Natasha Watcham-Roy 12. Megan Lukan

Women’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens
v. Spain – W 19-10
v. England – W 27-5
v. Canada – L 29-12
Cup QF v. Fiji – Saturday, April 22 @ 10:14 p.m. ET

Day One Results

POOL A
Russia 26 – 5 France
New Zealand 31 – 0 Japan
Russia 29 – 5 Japan
New Zealand 19 – 14 France
France 33 – 5 Japan
New Zealand 22 – 7 Russia

POOL B
Fiji 45 – 0 Ireland
Australia 38 – 0 Brazil
Fiji 34 – 7 Brazil
Australia 36 – 0 Ireland
Ireland 10 – 27 Brazil
Australia 17 – 12 Fiji

POOL C
USA 19 – 10 Spain
Canada 29 – 12 England
USA 27 – 5 England
Canada 43 – 5 Spain
Spain 0 – 21 England
Canada 29 – 12 USA

Day Two Fixtures

  • Sat, Apr 22 – 21:30 ET – CUP QF –M19 Australia vs France
  • Sat, Apr 22 – 21:52 ET – CUP QF – M20 Canada vs Russia
  • Sat, Apr 22 – 22:14 ET – CUP QF – M21 Fiji vs USA
  • Sat, Apr 22 – 22:36 ET – CUP QF – M22 New Zealand vs England
  • Sat, Apr 22 – 22:58 ET – TROPHY SF – M23 Brazil vs Ireland
  • Sat, Apr 22 – 23:20 ET – TROPHY SF – M24 Spain vs Japan
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 00:14 ET – 5th SF M25 Loser 19-20
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 00:14 ET – 5th SF M26 Loser 21-22
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 00:58 ET – Cup SF – M27 Winner 19-20
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 01:20 ET – Cup SF – M28 Winner 21-22
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 01:42 ET -11th Place – M29 Loser 23-24
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 02:04 ET – Challenge Trophy Final M30 Winner 23-24
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 02:58 ET – 7th Place M31 Loser 25-26
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 03:20 ET – 5th Place M32 Winner 25-26
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 03:42 ET – Bronze M33 Loser 27-28
  • Sun, Apr 23 – 04:07 ET – Cup Final M34 Winner 27-28

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