Women Eagles Sevens Finish 7th at Kitakyushu Sevens

April 23, 2017

Women Eagles Sevens Finish 7th at Kitakyushu Sevens


Photo: HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens

Doug Coil

After 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 and lost 26-19 as Fiji came back to win. With the loss, the USA played a rematch against England, this time suffering a 26-24 loss. That set up a match against France for seventh place, which the USA won 31-14.  All matches for  the United States market were broadcast on the 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. For a recap click here.

The USA entered the the fourth leg of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series in fifth place and ended in sixth place with 42 points, right behind Russia with 46. Fiji is in fourth place with 50 points.

Two final legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series remain. The fifth leg will be held in Langford, Canada on May 27-28, while the sixth will be in Clermont-Ferrand, France on June 24-25.

Cup Quarterfinals: USA v Fiji

The Women’s Eagles Sevens took a 12-5 lead at the break, however Fiji scored three second half tries before the USA narrowed the final score with a try by Naya Tapper.

Richie Walker went back to his starting squad of Griffin, Fa’avesi, Thomas, Sanders, Heavirland, Tapper and Kelter for the match against Fiji after a Cup Quarterfinal loss to Canada.

Both teams dropped some early passes forward. After a penalty at a breakdown, the USA cycled the ball wide to Kristen Thomas for a try near the corner. Alev Kelter converted for a 7-0 lead.

Joanne Fa’avesi almost intercepted a Fiji pass, but the ball went forward resulting in a scrum to Fiji. A penalty was called for a scrum infraction and Fiji took a quick tap at the 22 and Raijieli Daveua went in for a try. Ana Maria Naimasi missed the conversion, but Fiji had a 7-5 lead with a minute to play before halftime.

The USA won the ensuing restart and went through multiple phases before a Heavirland to Sanders to Tapper pass resulted in a try in the corner for a 12-5 lead at the break.

The USA mishandled the restart and Fiji took advantage off a scrum as Miriama Naiobasali fended Kelly Griffin to knot the score at 12-12. The USA went through phases on the restart and after a scrum, the ball went wide to Thomas before a tckle jarred the ball loose. This lead to Fiji’s Tima Ravisa eventually adding a try , while Viniana Riwai converted for a 19-12 lead. Rusila Nagasau intercepted a Kelsi Stockert pass for a try and a 26-12 lead.

With the final result assured, Naya Tapper narrowed the final score after Bulou Mataitoga opened the attack from the restart, and Alev Kelter converted from touch as the Eagles lost 26-19.

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

Fiji v. USA: 1. Merewai Cumu 2. Asinate Savu 3. Raijieli Daveua 4. Ana Maria Naimasi 5. Talica Vodo 6. Pricilla Sauvavi Siata 7. Rusila Nagasau 8. Lavenia Tinai 9. Ana Maria Roqica 10. Viniana Riwai 11. Miriama Naiobasali 12. Tima Ravisa

USA v England

With the Cup Quarterfinal loss to Fiji, Richie Walker shuffled the starting lineup with Gray, Stockert, Fa’avesi, Sanders, Heavirland, TApper and Mataitoga taking on England.

The match against England was a rematch from the Pool, in which the USA won 27-5. This time after the USA took an early lead, England came back to create a 14 point deficit which proved too difficult as England won 26-24.

The USA gained possession after a restart turnover by England. The USA went on the attack and offload by Jordan Gray to Kelsi Stockert resulted in a try after a fend on Emily Scott.

The USA continued the early momentum after claiming the restart. The momentum briefly switched after a USA turnover, as Abbie Brown found a gap in the defense for a try and a 7-5 lead.

The Eagles claimed their third restart and Naya Tapper beat three defenders for a try. After Nicole Heavirland converted, the USA reclaimed the lead, 12-7. The score was quickly leveled at 12 all as Millie Wood chased a kick and directed the ball for Alice Richardson to recover for a try.
The first half lasted beyond the seven minute mark and the second half would do the same. Heather Fisher gave England a 19-12 lead with a try down the wing. Millie Wood collected a grubber by Alev Kelter to add another try and the lead increased to 26-12.
The USA came back after a run by Kelter that was finished by Stockert to narrow the score to 26-17. Kelter then added a try in the last minute to narrow the final score to 26-24.

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 France

After their third consecutive loss at the HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens, the Women’s Eagles Sevens defeated France, 31-14 in the Seventh-Place Final. With the win, the Eagles fell to sixth place behind Russia. The 2016-17 season will resume in North America May 27-28 at HSBC Canada Sevens in Langford.

Richie Walker again shuffled his starters for the match against France. Griffin, Snyder, Thomas, Durbin, Kelter, Tapper and Sanders took the pitch for their final tournament match.

The USA did not leave the result of this match in doubt as they jumped out to a 17-0 lead and at the break the match was 24-7. They then added a second half try, before France ended with a try of their own to end the match at 31-14.

The match opened with Alev Kelter winning the restart and Kristen Thomas advancing the ball down the wing. Kelly Griffin then finished with a try for a 7-0 lead after Kelter’s conversion.

Navy Tapper stole possession from France on the restart. Kelter drew in a defender and Griffin added her second try to increase the lead to 12-0. Nicole Snyder turned the ball over at the breakdown and the ball went wide to Tapper, who streamed by the defense and increased the lead to 17-0.

After a knock on by the Eagles, France was able to get on the scoreboard after Camille Grassineau offloaded to Jade Le Pesq to narrow the score to 17-7.  Naya Tapper quickly brought the margin back to 17 with a try under the posts giving the Eagles a 24-7 lead at the break.

Lilly Durbin added a try from the restart and then added the conversion extending their lead to 31-7, before France scored a try in the 11th minute to bring the final score to 31-14.

Richie Walker rested players and tested various combinations in the last two matches. Jordan Gray and Megan Sanders, who debuted at the tournament, each had extended playing time.

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

France  v. USA 1. Rose Thomas 2. Lenaig Corson 3. Chloe Pelle 4. Pauline Biscarat 5. Caroline Drouin 6. Jade Le Pesq 7. Clemence Gueucier 8. Camille Grassineau 9. Grace Okemba 10. Elodie Guiglion 11. Larelinne Fourcade 12. Lina Guerin

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 – L 26-19
  • 5th SF v England – L 26-24
  • 7th Place v France – W 31-14

Day One Results

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

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

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

  • CUP QF –M19 Australia 19-12 France
  • CUP QF – M20 Canada 41-0 Russia
  • CUP QF – M21 Fiji 26-19 USA
  • CUP QF – M22 New Zealand 21-5 England
  • TROPHY SF – M23 Brazil 5-24 Ireland
  • TROPHY SF – M24 Spain 14-5 Japan
  • 5th SF M25 France 5-26 Russia
  • 5th SF M26 USA 24-26 England
  • Cup SF – M27 Australia 0-33 Canada
  • Cup SF – M28 Fiji 0-21 New Zealand
  • 11th Place – M29 Brazil 12-10 Japan
  • Challenge Trophy Final M30 Ireland 26-7 Spain
  • 7th Place M31 France 14-31 USA
  • 5th Place M32 Russia 31-0 England
  • Bronze M33 Australia 19-17 Fiji
  • Cup Final M34 Canada 14-17 New Zealand

HSBC World Rugby Women’s Series Standings

  1. New Zealand 76
  2. Australia 66
  3. Canada 64
  4. Fiji 50
  5. Russia 46
  6. USA 42
  7. France 32
  8. England 30
  9. Ireland 20
  10. Spain 12
  11. Brazil 9
  12. South Africa 6
  13. Japan 1
  14. Papua New Guinea 1
  15. Argentina 1


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