Saturday, February 20, 2016

Brazil 7s: Women Eagles Make Cup Quarterfinals

The Women Eagles 7s are into the Cup quarterfinals at the Sao Paulo 7s after finishing 2-1 in pool play. Making the Cup quarterfinals was a big goal for the team after missing out in Dubai.

New Zealand 35-5 Eagles

The day didn't start out well for the Eagles. Facing the top team in the world, New Zealand, the U.S. were outmatched for most of the 14 minutes. Gayle Broughton opened the scoring less than a minute in with that total being add to with two tries from Kayle McAlister to end the half with New Zealand in front 21-0. The U.S. did get at ry from Jillion Potter to open up the second half but that was all they would get as Huriana Manuel and Kelly Brazier added to more tries for New Zealand

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Russia 10-19 Eagles

Having lost to New Zealand the pressure was on the Eagles to beat Russia. Early on it didn't look like it was going to go the Eagles way as Russia had dominance at the breakdown and on the defensive end. The U.S. would hurt themselves further as Megan Bonny was sent to the bin for using her legs in the tackle. Using the woman advantage Russia easily found themselves over for the try from Arina Bystrova.

However, showing solid resolve the Eagles worked their way back into the match. Finally being able to keep some possession the U.S did well to work the ball back and forth across the pitch before finding Bui Baravilala for the try and to tie the score at 5-5. The U.S. had one last opportunity to score before the half but were put into touch.

In the second half the script was completely flipped. In the first half Russia were better at the breakdown but in the second it was all Eagles as they won turnover after turnover. Eventually that turned into tries. Their first try of the half came as Kristen Thomas turned the ball over at the breakdown and the ball was fed to Alev Kelter for the try. Jillion Potter won the subsequent restart and with one pass found Rachel Griendling for the try. Just like that the U.S. were up 19-5. Russia got one try back late in the match but it wasn't enough to catch the Eagles.

Spain 0-33 Eagles

Needing to beat Spain who were also 1-1 in pool play the Eagles came out firing in a ?? win. Even though the U.S. scored a number of tries it was all about the defense as they shut down Spain time and time again. There weren't a lot of whistles in the match and both sides looked exhausted.

It would be the U.S. that would break through the exhaustion first as a cutout pass found Hunter Griendling for the try. It looked like the match would go into halftime 7-0 until Alev Kelter perfectly read a pass for the intercept try.

Kristen Thomas would outpace the Spanish to start the second half and then Ashley Perry added another. Lightening caused a delay in the match with a minute left but when play resumed Naya Tapper would score to make the final 33-0.

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