The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens are Bronze medalists for the third straight tournament. They secured their fourth medal of the season and are ranked No. 2 in the World after defeating France 26-5 in the Bronze Final at HSBC Canada Sevens in Langford.
When they play their first match at Biarritz, France, they will have qualified for the Toyko 2020 Olympic Games. They are the only team who have finished in the top four at every tournament this season.
Head Coach Chris Brown said “We’ve had to build a culture that’s based on unity and working hard for each other. Getting a bond where we actually know a bit more about each other so they’re actually a bit more connected, have a bit more grace and more compassion with each other has been huge. Yes, we have to turn up and take the pitch in Biarritz, but to know as long as we’ve turned up, that we’ve qualified, is a pretty big achievement with a tournament to go.”
Bronze Final vs France
The United States scored the first 26 points before allowing a try by France to claim Bronze 26-5.
Nana Fa’vesi offloaded to Lauren Doyle for the first try, while Kristi Kirshe stole the ball at midfield and passed to Kris Thomas for a try in the corner to lead 12-0 at the break.
The United States continued to dominate possession during the second half. After Fa’avesi moved the ball to within 5-meters of in-goal, France was penalized twice. A Fa’avesi offload to Kristi Kirshe then resulted in a try to push the lead to 19-0.
Cup Semifinals vs New Zealand
The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens lost to World Cup Champions New Zealand 26-12 in the Cup Semifinals.
New Zealand’s Michaela Blyde scored on the opening possession after Alev Kelter received a red card for a dangerous tackle.
With Kelter out for the game, the Eagles Sevens faced a challenge of covering the Balck Ferns relentless style of play. The United States pressured New Zealand defensively, but the Black Ferns won a breakdown and moved the ball wide for a try in the corner, 0-12.
The USA claimed the restart with Naya Tapper motoring down the wide channel for a try, New Zealand answered back with another try prior to the half for a 17-5 lead.
In the final two minutes, New Zealand scored another try in the corner, which was matched by a try from Kristi Kirshe, who received the ball after a scrum for a try, to cut the final to 26-12.
Cup Quarterfinals vs Canada
The match was a physical one between two of the leading teams on the circuit. Alev Kelter scored the first try just prior tot he break for a 7-0 lead.
After halftime, Charity Williams went blind from a scrum and leveled the match at 7 all. After the ensuing restart, Kelter broke down the wide channel to the winning try.
Pool C vs France
The United States swept pool play for the second time this season, after earning their third pool win against beating France 12-0. Previously, the U.S. won against Spain and Fiji in their first two matches.
The team lost Jordan Matyas (upper body) and Meya Bizer (lower body) to tournament-ending injuries during the first two matches. They then survived a yellow card during the match but were resilient in the win.
Head Coach Chris Brown indicated “I’m pleased with our second half performances as we stayed in the fight. Ilona’s try-saving tackle two minutes from full time with only six players on the pitch sums up how much this group means to each other and how strongly we believe in what we’re doing.”
“As for tomorrow, we need to get excited about the ruck zone. At times today, we were hesitant in cleaning our ball. We have to do the right thing for the team and let the ball go to the best channels. Keeping seven players on the pitch at all times is non-negotiable.”
The USA took advantage of two early penalties by France with Kristi Kirshe receiving the ball on the wing for the first score and a 7-0 lead. Then Fa’avesi ran down the right flank for a try under the posts, 12-0.
In the second half, the USA defense was the key, especially after Alev Kelter’s yellow card. The team’s defense continued to be strong and fought off several attacks by France for the win.
Pool C vs Fiji
The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens defeated Fiji 28-7 to notch their second straight win in Pool C at HSBC Canada Sevens 2019.
The USA Women struck first from a try by Naya Tapper and then conceded a try by Fiji on the wide channel to level the match at 7 all.
Fiji committed a penalty in the final minute and Kristi Kirshe offloaded to Alev Kelter for a try and a 14-7 lead at the break.
After a penalty by Fiji in the second half, Abby Gustaitis added the team’s third try, 21-7. Tapper added her second try in the corner to win 28-7.
Pool C vs Spain
The USA overcame a 12-0 deficit at the break to win 21-12 over Spain to open the HSBC Canada Sevens in Langford.
Spain scored two early tries, one in the opening minutes and another from the USA offload that was intercepted by Elisabet Martinez for a try to lead 12-0.
During the second half, the USA staged a comeback with Kristi Kirshe intercept for a try. Nicole Heavirland added another to take a 14-12 lead. Alev Kelter added a third for aa 21-12 win.
USA Women’s Rugby Sevens Squad, Staff, and Results
USA Women’s Sevens: 1 Meya Bizer 2 Illona Maher 3 Abby Gustaitis 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
Head Performance Analyst Dave Gardner
Athletic Trainer Nicole Titmas
Team Manager Liz Strohecker
HSBC CANADA WOMEN’S SEVENS SCHEDULE
- Pool C vs Spain 21-12 (W)
- Pool C vs Fiji 28-7 (W)
- Pool C vs France 12-0 (W)
- Cup Quarterfinals vs Canada 12-7 (W)
- Cup Semifinals vs New Zealand 12-26 (L)
- Bronze Final vs France | 26-5 (W)