Saturday, April 16, 2016

Langford 7s: Eagles Lose Twice, Still Make Cup Round

Day one at the Langford 7s didn't exactly go to plan for the Eagles as they finished with a 1-2 record. However, they did enough in their matches to make the Cup quarterfinals where they will play England at 2:06 p.m. pt/11:06 a.m. et.

Eagles 7-10 Spain

This was a fluky match. The U.S. had a lead in the dying moments and when they went to innocently kick it out to end the match the ball stuck to the hustling Spanish player who simply fell on it in the tryzone for the winning score. It was something that couldn't be replicated often if you tries and something you'll have to see to beleive (see below).

Take the jump to read more.

It didn't look like the U.S. would lose early. They were heavily favored against Spain and when Alev Kelter scored thirty seconds into the match after the U.S. had won the restart it seemed that they were going to run away with the match. Still, Spain came right back and kept possession. As happens when you keep possession 7s they soon found the score. 7-5 to the Eagles. Spain continued to push after the score but errors and a strong U.S. defense prevented any more points in the half.

Neither team was able to gain control of the match for the first couple of minutes in the second half. Spain also did a good job of slowing the ball down and staying patient for their opportunities. While they didn't come right away they did come at the end of the match when it mattered the most.

Eagles 24-12 Fiji

Fiji started the match with great team play and several outstanding offloads that led to a try. Staying patient the Eagles eventually struck back. Every player of the team touched the ball before Carmen Farmer broke through a couple of tackles for the score. The U.S. then caught a break when a Fijian player was sent to the bin for a high tackle. They would quickly take advantage with Christy Ringgenberg scoring to push the lead to 12-5 at halftime.

It took several minutes for either side to have their first real chance and it came to Fiji. A try was only stopped when Kristen Thomas was judged to have deliberately knocked on the ball. She was sent to the bin and Fiji capitalized a few moments later to even the match. Back to their full compliment the Eagles scored a champagne rugby try with Richelle Stephens finishing it off. Nicole Heavirland finished off the final try and what was likely an even better team effort.

Eagles 7-19 New Zealand

Needing a good result against New Zealand to make the Cup quarterfinals the U.S. got out to a bright start with Kristin Thomas scoring an early try. It was almost the second try of the early proceedings as Jessica Javelet was only inches away from scoring. They could have used that try as New Zealand worked the Eagles for their first try. The match turned at the end of the half when Ryan Carlyle was controversially shown a yellow card. That allowed Portia Woodman to score her second of the match. New Zealand added a third in the second half, also controversially, and were able to keep the U.S. off the board.