The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens team Pool C at the 2019 HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens. The USA opened with a 43-7 win over England, then won 31-5 over Fiji, before ending Pool play beating Ireland 15-12. They will now face New Zealand in the Cup Quarterfinals at 9:52 pm ET.
Matches are broadcast LIVE on facebook.com/worldrugby7s. At the end of the sixth stop on the circuit, the top four teams will qualify for the 2020 Olympics.
The USA vs England
The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens team opened the 2019 HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens with a 43-7 win over England.
Kris Thomas opened the scoring racing down the right flank for a try with Alev Kelter’s conversion bouncing off the posts. England answered back with a try by Helena Rowland with Holly Aitchison converting for a 7-5 lead.
The USA reclaimed the lead after Alev Kelter shot threw a gap and then Cheta Emba added another for a 17-7 lead at the break after Kelter’s conversion.
The USA took over in the second half with Lauren Doyle running nearly the length of the pitch and Joanne Fa’avesi finishing to lead 24-7.
Naya Tapper then added two tries, the first down the right flank and the second down the left flank. The team added a final try by Alev Kelter in the closing minute for the 43-7 win.
The USA vs Fiji
The Women’s Eagles Sevens claimed their second win at Kitakyushu, a 31-5 victory over Fiji, moving them to 2-0 in Pool C.
The USA took a 5-0 lead as they attacked from a scrum and Kris Thomas dotted down. Alev Kelter then added a try under the posts, making an easy conversion. Fiji then answered back with a try by Asinate Suvu to cut the deficit to 12-5.
The Women’s Eagles Sevens added a third try by Joanne Fa’avesi on the final play of the half to lead 19-5.
After some back and forth play early in the second half, Alev Kelter drew in defenders and offloaded to Illona Maher for a try in the corner, 26-5. The team then added a final try after a break by Lauren Doyle and offload to Nicole Heavirland for a try and a 31-5 win.
The USA vs Ireland
The Women’s Eagles Sevens come-from-behind to defeat Ireland 15-12 to sweep in Pool C and advance to the Cup Quarterfinals in Kitakyushu against New Zealand.
“I said earlier in the week that if we stick to our principles and enjoy the game, we’ll be fine. There were times where we did that well today and times where we put additional stress on ourselves when it wasn’t needed,” said Head Coach Chris Brown. “We have powerful individuals on our team which is a blessing, but the more we rely on individuals rather than our system as a collective the easier we are to beat.”
Ireland struck first with a try by Amee-Leigh Murphy-Crow in the third minute with Lucy Mulhall converting for a 7-0 lead. The USA answered back with a try by Kayla Cannett to cut the deficit to 7-5.
Early in the second half, Emily Lane added another try to push the lead to 12-5. The USA answered right back with a Kristi Kirshe try to cut the lead to 12-10.
Kristi Kirshe then fended off defenders before offloading to Alev Kelter, who ran and then reached over the try line to ground the ball while being tackled for the team’s first lead, 15-12.
Ireland tried to mount a comeback, but the Women’s Eagles forced a turnover to claim the win.
WOMEN’S EAGLES SEVENS Squad
USA: 1 Cheta Emba 2 Ilona Maher 3 Meya Bizer 4 Nicole Heavirland (C) 5 Alev Kelter 6 Lauren Doyle (C) 7 Naya Tapper 8 Jordan Gray-Matyas 9 Joanne Fa’avesi 10 Kayla Cannett11 Kris Thomas 12 Kristi Kirshe
WOMEN’S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF
Head Coach | Chris Brown
Head of Physical Performance | Matt Long
Athletic Trainer | Nicole Titmas
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker
HSBC KITAKYUSHU SEVENS SCHEDULE
- vs England W 43-7
- vs Fiji W 31-5
- vs Ireland W 15-12
Cup Quarterfinals vs New Zealand 9:52 PM ET