USA Women’s 7s Powers Over China & Russia; Gains RWC7s Championship Semi-Finals

USA Women’s Eagles Sevens – RWC7s

USA Rugby Women’s Eagles Sevens defeated China 38-7 to open the Rugby World Cup at AT&T Park in San Francisco, July 20-22. This set up a Champions Quarterfinal match against Russia who beat South Africa 24-14. The USA beat Russia 33-17 and will play New Zealand in the Championship Semi-Finals while Russia will play Ireland in the 5th-8th place semi-finals.

USA vs. China Scoring Recap

Naya Tapper scored in the opening minute as the USA took a 7-0 lead after Nicole Heavirland’s conversion. China answered back with a try by Chen and a conversion by Yu to tie the match at 7 all. The Women’s Eagles then took over with Kristen Thomas and Lauren Doyle adding tries and Heavirland adding a conversion to take a 17-7 lead at the break.

In the second half, USA added a try by Kate Zachary and two by Cheta Emba, with Heavirland converting twice for a 38-7 win.

USA vs. Russia Championship Quarterfinal

The USA struck first as Naya Tapper rounded the wide channel right and Nicole Heavirland converted for a 7-0 lead. The ensuing restart did not go 10 meters, so Russia took the ball at midfield and Baizat Khamidova went wide right for a try. The conversion was wide left, as Russia cut the lead to 7-5.

The Women’s Eagles 7s answered back with a second try by Tapper with Heavirland converting pushing the lead to 14-5. The USA continued their attack with Abby Gustaitis fighting her way over the line and Heavirland adding another conversion to lead 21-5. This lead would stand at the break.

Early in the second half, Cheta Emba was sent to the bin. Russia executed a kick and chase, but the ball was held up. Following a 5-meter scrum, Alena Mikhaltsova went over the line to narrow the lead to 21-12. Daria Nortitsina added another to cut the lead to 21-17.

The USA then showed their resolve and Cheta Emba powered her way through defenders offloading to Ilona Maher for a try under the posts, Heavirland added the conversion pushing the lead to 28-17. Abby Gustaitis claimed the restart and Cheta Emba finished with the try for a final score of 33-17.

With the win, the United States moves to the Championship Semi-finals tomorrow against New Zealand at 12:04 pm PT. In the other semi-final, Australia will face France.

On day one, Nicole Heavirland is among the top six scorers with 16 points, while Cheta Emba and NAy Tapper both have 15. Both Emba and Tapper are tied for 4th with 3 tries, while Heavirland is in 2nd place among goal scorers with 8.

As a team, the USA has scored 11 tries and has averaged 35.5 points per match.

USA Women’s Eagles 7s: Cheta Emba 2 Ryan Carlyle 3  Abby Gustaitis 4 Nicole Heavirland 5 Kelly Griffin 6 Lauren Doyle 7 Naya Tapper 8 Ilona Maher 9 Joanne Faavesi 10 Kate Zackary 11 Kristen Thomas 12 Jordan Gray + HC Richie Walker

Russia: 1 Daria Noritsina2 Anastasia Prokudina 3 Daria Shestakova 4 Alena Mikhaltsova (C) 5 Baizat Khamidova 6 Anna Gavrilyuk 7 Kristina Seredina 8 Marina Kukina 9 Anna Baranchuk 10 Daria Lushina 11 Arina Bystrova 12 Mariia Perestiak


  • Round of 16 – v China W 38-7
  • Champions Quarterfinals v Russia

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant