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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Clermont 7s: Eagles Struggle, Still Make Quarterfinals


The Eagles are into the Cup quarterfinals at the Clermont 7s after grabbing the last spot on point differential. It wasn't always an easy day for the team with a couple of losses but they secured enough points when it mattered to survive.

England 26-7 Eagles

Unfortunately the day didn't start out well for the Eagles as they lost to England. The English are one of the best teams on the Series for a reason and they let the Eagles know it with two tries in the first five minutes to go up 14-0. The U.S. did well to respond with a try from Alev Kelter but then another try from England just before the end of the half and then one just before the end of the match resulted in the win.

Take the jump to read more.

Spain 12-10 Eagles

The Eagles have struggled against Spain recently, including two losses in Langford. Unfortunately for the team that continued in France. The U.S. had discipline problems early with a number of penalties. Still, the U.S. defense held and when Ryan Carlyle stole the ball at the breakdown they were able to clear the pressure. That was only temporary, however, as eventually Spain were rewarded for having the bulk of the possession with a try. The U.S. did well to rebound and well after the halftime hooter they earned a turnover and found Kathryn Johnson to level it up at 5-5.

Keeping the momentum from their strong start to the end of the first half the U.S. came out and won the restart to start the second. However, the Spanish defense bailed them out with a timely turnover. Play went back and forth for the next few minutes but finally the Eagles were able to break through as debutant Lilly Durbin scored her first try to push the score to 10-5. The lead wouldn't last as Spain came right back on the restart to score and convert for the win.

Kenya 0-21 Eagles

Needing a big win against Kenya to advance to the quarterfinals the U.S. delivered in a big way to make that happen. Kenya actually had the bulk of the possession to start the match but their inexperience showed through as they coughed it up on multiple occasions as the U.S. defense came to the rescue at the right times. Eventually that defense would turn into a try. Kelly Griffin did the hard work to break through the defense before passing to Durbin for the score. After the try the U.S. were able to turn it on with Alev Kelter scoring next.

Up 14-0 heading into the second half and knowing they needed more points the U.S. came out active. They were soon rewarded when Vix Folayan bounced off a couple of defenders to go more than half the length of the pitch for the try. Jessica Javelet and Johnson would finish off the match with tries.

The U.S. will have a rematch against England at 6:20 a.m. et/3:20 a.m p.t. 

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