The USA earned the bronze medal in the second round of the 2019-2020 HSBC World Series Sevens, the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens 5-7 December 2019. The USA entered the tournament first-place in the world after Claiming the Cup at the USA Sevens in Glendale.
The USA opened the Dubai Sevens with a 29-7 win over Brazil and followed with a 33-14 victory over Russia. This set up a match between the USA and rivals Canada with the Women’s Eagles Sevens emerging with a 34-10 win.
In the Cup Quarterfinals, the USA defeated Russia 28-7 and then fell to eventual cup winners New Zealand 24-7. The USA finished strong dominating the match against Australia to claim the bronze medal 24-7.
It was a strong performance for the North Americans as Canada gained silver after a narrow 17-14 loss to New Zealand. The USA and New Zealand are now tied with 36 points to top the standings. Canada move to fourth place behind Australia.
HSBC World Sevens Series standings may be viewed on the Series webpage.
The USA Women will travel to Cape Town for the third round of the World Sevens Series on 13-15 December.
Cup Quarterfinals: USA 28-7 Russia
The USA Women’s Sevens entered the Cup Quarterfinals after sweeping their pool. Following the win against Russia, the team has advanced to eight consecutive semifinals.
Russia pressured the USA from the start, but a forward pass and USA defensive pressure thwarted a score. Instead, the USA scored first with co-captain Kris Thomas streaking around defenders and cutting back through the middle for a try. Kristi Kirshe added another try for a 14-0 lead at the break, with Alev Kelter slotting both kicks.
Russia answered back in the second half with a try by Baizat Khamidova and Kristina Seredina adding the extras to cut the lead to 14-7.
Alev Kelter’s counter ruck had Kristi Kirshe stealing the ball and adding her second try with Kelter perfect on the match with her boot.
The Women’s Eagles Sevens powerful runs by Abby Gustaitis and Kristi Kirshe had Alev Kelter barrelling over the line for a final try and conversion.
With the 28-7 victory, the USA will face New Zealand in the Cup semifinals.
USA Starters: 6. Lauren Doyle 5. Alev Kelter 11. Kris Thomas 4. Nicole Heavirland 1. Cheta Emba 8. Jordan Gray-Matyas 12. Kristi Kirshe Reserves 3. Abby Gustaitis (3′) 7. Naya Tapper (7′) 10. Kayla Canett (10′) 9. Eti Haungatau (12′) Ilona Mayer (DNP)
Russia Starters: 4 Alena Mikhaltsova 5 Baizat Khamidova 9 Marina Myasnikov 7 Kristina Seredina 2 Daria Lushina 12 Anna Baranchuk 10 Elena Zdrokova Reserves 8 Nadezhda Sozonova (5′) 11 Arina Bysrova (9′) 6 Iana Danilova (11′) 13 Marina Kukina (12′) 1 Daria Noritsina (12′)
Cup Semifinals: New Zealand 24-7 USA
New Zealand raced to a 24-0 lead before the USA scored a solo try and conversion by Nicole Heavirland in the final minute.
Tyla Nathan-Wong opened the scoring with Kelly Brazier adding another with Nathan-Wong adding a conversion on the latter.
Stacey Waaka added a third try with Nathan-Wong converting and Nathan-Wong quickly added a fourth to lead 24-0 before the USA struck to cut the final deficit to 24-7.
With the loss, the USA will play Australia in the Bronze Final, while New Zealand faces Canada in the Cup Final.
USA Starters: 6. Lauren Doyle 5. Alev Kelter 11. Kris Thomas 3. Abby Gustaitis 4. Nicole Heavirland 7. Naya Tapper 2 Ilona Mayer Reserves 12. Kristi Kirshe (5′) 1. Cheta Emba (8′) 8. Jordan Gray-Matyas (11′) 10. Kayla Canett (DNP’) 9. Eti Haungatau (DNP)
New Zealand Starters: 2 Shakira Baker 8 Kelly Brazier 7 Tyla Nathan-Wong 1 Ruby Tui 3 Stacey Waaka 4 Niall Williams 10 Theresa Fitzpatrick Reserves 9 Gayle Broughton (5′) 12 Alena Saili (11′) 11 Shiray Kaka (13′) 5 Huia Harding (13′) 6 Tenika Willison (DNP)
Bronze Final: Australia 7-24 USA
The USA dominated territory and possession in the first half against Australia. Alev kelter scored the first try powering over from the left wide channel to lead 5-0.
The USA used a switch by Thomas to Cheta Emba for a try with Nicole Heavirland adding the extras. Just before the break Kristi Kirshe picked up a Matyas loose ball to add try to lead 17-0.
The USA pressured Australia with their attack to begin the second half. A knock on just before in-goal by Naya Tapper turned the ball over to the Aussies for a scrum. Pressure defense led to a turnover with Jordan Gray-Matyas reaching over the line and grounding. Heavirland then added the extras to lead 24-0.
Australia’s Sariah Paki had a strong run, but her offload went to ground and resulted in a brief USA attack. Australia’ Faith Nathan then added a try under the post with Georgia Hannaway converting for a final of 24-7.
The USA has started the 2019-2020 HSBC World Sevens Series with a Gold and now add a Bronze. It was a powerful performance for the Women’s Eagles Sevens as they build for the Olympics.
USA Starters: 6. Lauren Doyle 5. Alev Kelter 11. Kris Thomas 4. Nicole Heavirland 1. Cheta Emba8. Jordan Gray-Matyas 12. Kristi Kirshe Reserves 3. Abby Gustaitis 7. Naya Tapper 10. Kayla Canett 2 Ilona Mayer 9. Eti Haungatau
Australia Starters: 12 Ellia Green 1 Shannon Parry 6 Evania Pelite 2 Sharni Williams 13 Demi Hayes 8 Madison Ashby 7 Georgia Hannaway Reserves 10 Alicia Lucas 4 Cassandra Staples 3 Sariah Paki 11 Rhiannon Byers 9 Faith Nathan
Final Results & Pool Recap Article Link
- 11th Place Playoff: Japan 12-14 Brazil
- 9th Place Playoff: England 26-21Ireland
- Cup Quarterfinal: Australia 21-0 Spain
- Cup Quarterfinal: France 7-19 Canada
- Cup Quarterfinal: Fiji 10-24 New Zealand
- Cup Quarterfinal: USA 28-7 Russia
- Cup Semifinal: Australia 12-26 Canada
- Cup Semifinal: New Zealand 24-7 USA
- Bronze: Australia 7-24 USA
- Cup Final: Canada 14-17 New Zealand