USA Women’s Rugby Sevens Exit 6th After Loss to Australia

The USA Women’s Rugby Sevens Team lost 17-7 to Australia in the 5th place final.

The USA had defeated China 33-14 in a 5th place semifinal, and in the other 5th place semifinal Australia beat ROC (Russian Olympic Committee) 35-7.


The USA entered the match having beaten Australia 14-12 in pool play.

Defense ruled this match, but Australia jumped out to a 10-0 lead at the break on the strength of tries by Nathan and by Ashby.

Kristi Kirshe scored the lone USA try midway in the second half with Nicole Heavirland converting to cut the lead to 10-7.

Hayes sealed the match in the 12th minute for Australia with Hinds adding the extras, 17-7, which held up for the win.

USA Rugby Comments

Head Coach Chris Brown

On the loss to Australia…

“Unfortunately, we just couldn’t get that ball back. When we forced the errors, we were getting penalized ourselves, so that was hard. A few penalties in the second half; but the character, the fight — we made the Aussies work for every point. And that’s what I’m proud of. Earlier on in the tournament, I wasn’t happy because I felt that our character was questioned — the way we do things was in question — and the way we finished off to today, I’m extremely proud of how we did that.

On the overall campaign…

“Quite honestly, if you look at the quarter-final where we missed our opportunity, a lot of that came down to a poor tackle rate defensively; but also the wrong game plan from me in how to attack them in the first couple of minutes. And, that guts me because we played nine quarter-finals over the last year and it’s the first one we lost. And as we saw today, they fight for each other. And I’ll take that any day.”

On the sport of rugby sevens…

“That’s sevens. It’s the best sport for representing life. When they bounced back this morning and the fight we saw this afternoon, that’s what makes me so proud. They’re equipped to be successful in whatever they do outside of rugby or on the pitch.”

Co-Captain Abby Gustaitis

“Whoever ends up with that ball the longest in sevens, they’re going to win the game and Australia did that. They starved us of the ball. So, kudos to them, and well done. When you’re working side to side of that pitch, it’s absolutely exhausting. And that’s what led to our errors. We played so much defense that we were exhausted by the time we were allowed the ball and had time to attack.”

Squads +5th place SF, QF & Pool Recaps vs Australia; China & Japan

Australia: 1 Shannon Parry (co-capt.), 2 Sharni Williams (co-capt.), 3 Faith Nathan, 4 Dominique Du Toit, 5 Emma Tonegato, 6 Evania Pelite, 7 Charlotte Caslick, 8 Madison Ashby, 9 Tia Hinds, 10 Sariah Paki, 11 Demi Hayes, 12 Maddison Levi

USA: 1 Cheta Emba 2 Ilona Maher 3 Abby Gustaitis (co-captain) 4 Nicole Heavirland 5 Alev Kelter 6 Lauren Doyle 7 Naya Tapper 8 Jordan Matyas 9 Ariana Ramsey 10 Kayla Canett-Oca 11 Kristen Thomas (co-captain) 12 Kristi Kirshe 13 Nia Toliver (13th player), Kasey McCravey (traveling reserve), Nana Fa’avesi (traveling reserve)

Medal Round Matches

  • 11/12th Brazil 21-12 Japan
  • 9/10th Canada 24-10 Kenya
  • 7/8th China 22-10 ROC (Russian Olympic Committee)
  • 5/6th Australia 17-7 USA
  • Bronze Medal Fiji 21-12 Great Britain
  • Gold Medal – New Zealand 26-12 France

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant