June 24, 2017
Women Eagles Sevens Second in Pool after Loss to New Zealand
Photo: Michael Lee, KLC Fotos
The Women’s Eagles Sevens lost to HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series leader, New Zealand and will meet the top seed of Pool C, either Australia or France in the Cup Quarterfinals Sunday at 6:22 am ET.
The USA entered their final pool match against New Zealand needing either a win or a draw to win the pool. With the loss, they finished second in pool play. They began the Clermont-Ferrand Sevens coming back to defeat Ireland 12-7 and then Japan 33-5.
The entire tournament may be viewed live in the United States on The Rugby Channel.
USA v New Zealand
New Zealand entered the match with only one loss the entire World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. That loss was to the USA at the Sydney Sevens in the Cup Semi-finals.
The opening restart went to Kelter off a tap by Emba. The ball went forward and New Zealand could attack from a scrum. Rugby Tui found some space and the ball was cycled wide to Tyla Nathan-Wong for a try in the corner that she then converted for a 7-0 lead.
The restart did not go 10 meters and the USA had their first attack. Alev Kelter went into contact and was spun left to Naya Tapper went by Alena Saili for a try. Nicole Heavirland then converted to level the match at 7 all.
New Zealand claimed the restart and Kelter tackles Niall Williams and counter rucked. The Black Ferns retained possession and Gayle Broughton sidestepped a defender and went in for a try. Nathan-Wong converted again and the lead was 14-7.
New Zealand then added a third try prior to halftime from a Katarina Whata-Simpkins grub and pick for an unconverted try to increase the lead to 19-7.
The second half restart by Nathan-Wong went directly into touch, so the USA had a free kick at midfield. The United States did not waste this opportunity as Ryan Carlyle offloaded to Naya Tapper for her second try. Alev Kelter then converted to narrow the score to 19-14.
Whata-Simpkins then found a gap and grubbed the ball past in-goal for a 22 meter drop for the USA. The kick by Kelter went off a New Zealand player and into the hands of Cheta Emba. Sara Parsons then made a strong run and Heavirland advanced the ball to New Zealand’s 22, before Tui counter rucked and stole the ball.
The Black Ferns attack then went wide left to Whata-Simpkins who appeared to have a line for a try. Alev Kelter quickly went cross field to make a crushing tackle driving Whata-Simpkins into touch for a USA lineout. Although the USA won the lineout, Tui again made a steal at the breakdown.
Soon after, Sara Parsons drew a penalty at the breakdown and Emba motored to the New Zealand 22. A win wasn’t to be, as the ball was lost and kicked into touch by New Zealand for the 19-14 win.
Tess Feury came on during the second half to earn her first Eagles Sevens cap.
Both teams will be in the Cup Quarterfinals. New Zealand won the Pool with the USA finishing second. The USA will play the winner of the Australia vs. France match, which will determine the Pool C winner, on Sunday at 6:22 am ET.
USA Starters: Emba, Fa’avesi, Kelter, Parsons,Heavirland, Carlyle, Tapper
New Zealand starters: Tui, Baker, Saili, Williams, Nathan-Wong, Wahta-Simkins, Broughton
Women’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Clermont-Ferrand Sevens
1. Cheta Emba 2. Joanne Fa’avesi 3. Sara Parsons 4. Nicole Heavirland 5. Ryan Carlyle 6. Mata Hingano 7. Jessica Javelet 8. Ashley Perry 9. Natalie Kosko 10. Tess Feury 11. Alev Kelter 12. Naya Tapper
New Zealand: 1 Ruby Tui 2 Shakira Baker 3 Terina Te Tamaki 4 Niall Williams 5 Crystal Mayes 6 Michaela Blyde 7 Tyla Nathan-Wong (C) 8 Jess Drummond 9 Katarina Whata-Simpkins 10 Gayle Broughton 11 Alena Saili 12 Tayla Reti