USA Women’s Eagles Sevens & 2018 Canada Sevens
The Women’s Eagles Sevens won the Bronze Final at the 2018 Canada Sevens tournament defeating France 21-5. With their performance, the team moved into 5th place in the HSBC Women’s Sevens standings with one stop remaining. The concluding stop of the 2017-18 HSBC World Women’s Sevens Series is in Paris on June 8-9. After that the USA will play China in the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco on July 20.
Head Coach Richie Walker indicated that he is “Incredibly proud of our team for what they have accomplished today. They stayed physical, overcame their challenges and worked together as a group to achieve a Top 3 finish. With this we have proven our abilities to work hard and meet the goals we set out to achieve. We’ll be every bit as ready for Paris.”
Alev Kelter was the top points scorer at Langford with 52 points. The nearest competitor was Montserrat Amedee of France and Bianca Farella of Canada with 40. Kelter also scored her 50th career try and USA’s 500th team try.
The USA is in 5th place in the standings, but is tied with 4th place Canada with 44 points. Should they finish in 4th, it would be a record for the team. The team hopes for an excellent team performance in Paris to carry the momentum into the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco July 20-22.
The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens opened Pool play with a 35-14 win over Russia. They then had a narrow 22-19 loss to France before beating japan 28-7. This set up a Cup quarterfinal match between Canada. The team gained a 28-26 win on the final play as Naya Tapper scored a try and Alev Kelter converted. The team then lost to eventual champions New Zealand 33-10. The team scored the first 10 points, but New Zealand scored the remaining points for the win.
The USA faced France for the second time this weekend, the United States was prepared to change the result from the preceding day. “Precise tackling, physical encounters and forceful stops made it difficult for France to gain favorable field position from the very beginning. Then, almost halfway into the first half, Caroline Drouin broke away for what would be the last French try of the tournament, 0-5.”
“Penalties and set pieces galore filled the rest of the half while the Eagles fought desperately to break away from French defenders. Just before both teams could be sent to their huddles, the United States employed tactful handling to keep the ball alive so Naya Tapper could squeeze by and score just before the break, 5-7.”
“Up by two when play resumed, USA wasted little time pushing past the French to give Kate Zackary room to increase the lead, 5-14.”
“By this point, a win was not out of reach for either team. Enough time remained for both squads to capitalize on intensity and drive momentum back in their favor.”
“Penalties continued to create stoppages in play during the last several minutes but the U.S. held on to keep France out of scoring position. Then, with the full time whistle a short breath away, Alev Kelter found the smallest of holes, employed precise footwork and ran the length of the field to seal the win 5-21.”
WOMEN’S SEVENS ROSTER – 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens: 1 Jordan Gray 2. Cheta Emba 3. Abby Gustaitis 4. Ryan Carlyle 5. Joanne Fa’avesi 6. Nicole Heavirland (C) 7. Kate Zackary 8. Kayla Canett 9. Lauren Doyle 10. Alev Kelter 11. Sarah Buonopane 12. Naya Tapper
WOMEN’S SEVENS STAFF – 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens: Head Coach – Richie Walker, Athletic Trainer – Kevin Ng, Head of Physical Preparation – Jon Hood, Analyst – Dave Gardner, Team Manager – Liz Strohecker
WOMEN’S SEVENS SCHEDULE – 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens
- v. Russia | 14-35 (W)
- v. France | 22-19 (L)
- v. Japan | 28-7 (W)
- Cup Quarterfinals v. Canada | 28-26 (W)
- Cup Semifinal v. New Zealand | 10-33 (L)
- Bronze Final v. France | 21-5