The USA Women’s Eagles Sevens qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Toyko after beating 11th ranked China 36-5 in their opening Pool C match at the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series in Biarritz. The team then beat 10th ranked Fiji 14-12 and 5th place France 19-7 to win Pool C. The matches are being shown on facebook.com/worldrugby7s.
The USA entered the Biarritz Sevens ranked 2nd, two points ahead of Canada and twelve points behind New Zealand. A strong performance could allow the United States to cement its position at second in the world, marking the highest ever finish for the program in history.
The Eagles Sevens are also the only team on the World Series circuit to have made the semifinals at every tournament this season, medaling with Bronze at the last three consecutive stops. The team will be looking to finish on a high note as they play Russia in the Cup Quarterfinals.
USA vs China
The USA Women’s Sevens beat China 36-5 after taking a 22-5 lead at the break.
China struck first as Keyi Chen found a seam for a try and a 5-0 lead.
The USA answered back with a try by Naya Tapper, who received an offload by Illona Maher, to level the match at 5 all.
Following a penalty by china for not releasing, Kris Thomas took the tap and finished with a try under the posts with Nicole Heavirland converting, 12-5. Thomas added another after a break by Cheta Emba, who offloaded to Thomas. Emba then factored in another try with a pop pass to Ilona Maher to push the lead to 22-5 at the break.
Early in the second half, Lauren Doyle brkoe a tackle and finished her long break with a try under he posts making the conversion easy for Heavirland. Steph Rovetti stepped a defender for the team’s 6th try with Heavirland converting for the 36-5 victory.
With the win, the USA qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
USA vs Fiji
The USA faced a tough Fijian side and came back to win 14-12.
The first score came after a Kayla Cannett pass was taken by Fiji. After a penalty by the U.S. and a missed tackle led to a Fiji try by Vasiti Solikoviti.
Following a yellow card by VinianaRiwai for a neck roll, the ball went wide to Naya Tapper, who offloaded to Lauren Doyle to level the match. Nicole Heavirland then slotted the conversion for a 7-5 lead at the break.
Early in the second half, Cannett lost the ball forward and Raijieli Daveua gathered and finished with a try and after teh conversion led 12-7.
On the ensuing restart, the ball went wide right with Kris Thomas adding a try and Heavirland converting to reclaim a 14-12 lead.
A Fiji steal at the breakdown had Daveua racing down the pitch and a try saving tackle by Lauren Doyle resulted in a knock on just prior to in-goal. This gave the U.S a 5-meter scrum and led to a break by Cheta Emba, who was isolated and led to a trunover. A Fijian player was driven into touch and the U.S won the lineout and Heavirland kicked into touch for the win.
The Women’s Eagles record improved to 2-0 and will be in the Cup Quarterfinals.
USA vs France
The USA Women’s Sevens team scored the only try of the first half after a French player was sent to the bin for an early tackle on Alev Kelter. This led to a Cheta Emba try and an Alev Kelterr conversion for a 7-0 lead.
The USA struck early in the second half with a try by Kristi Kirshe and then a Lauren Doyle dummy led to another with Kelter converting for a 19-0 lead.
The ensuing restart resulted in an Alev Kelter yellow for hitting Ciofani while in the air. When she returned, she received another yellow turned red on the tackle of Shannon Izar, who scored a try. The conversion was then successful for a 19-7 win.
While the team achieved what they wanted in winning Pool C, they will miss Alev Kelter after the red card.
Next for the USA is Russia in the Cup Quarterfinals.
USA WOMEN’S SEVENS:
1 Cheta Emba 2 Ilona Maher 3 Abby Gustaitis 4 Nicole Heavirland (C) 5 Alev Kelter 6 Lauren Doyle (C) 7 Naya Tapper 8 Kasey McCravey 9 Steph Rovetti 10 Kayla Rovetti 11 Kris Thomas 12 Kristi Kirshe
USA WOMEN’S 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 FRANCE WOMEN’S SEVENS SCHEDULE
Pool C Broadcast LIVE on World Rugby Sevens Facebook, Match Preview
- vs China W 36-5
- vs Fiji W 14-12
- vs France W 19-7
- Cup Quarterfinals vs Russia 5:22 am