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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Dubai 7s: Eagles Go 1-2, Will Play For Challenge Trophy


Things did not go according to plan for the Women Eagles 7s on the opening day of the Dubai 7s. After a dramatic win over Russia the team had a disappointing match against South Africa and then a tough loss to Olympic champion Australia. The team will now have to settle for the Challenge Trophy as the play Ireland tomorrow.

Eagles 12-10

The Eagles actually began with a come from behind win over Russia. As you can imagine being the first match back after a long layoff neither team was able to get much going early. That changed roughly four minutes in when from a set play Russia was able to find the gap to score. Russia then added a second try just before the half to lead 10-0.

Throughout most of the second half the Eagles tried to find the breakthrough but were stymied. That was until just under a minute left in the match. The Eagles did well to put Russia under pressure, in particular from a big Nana Fa'avesi run, but forward pass seemed to end the threat. However, the U.S. stole the put in at the scrum and from their quickly countered to see Lauren Doyle score her first of the day. Crucially the conversion was good. The restart from Alev Kelter was perfect. Fa'avesi recovered the kick and then offloaded to Cheta Emba for the match winning score with no time to go.

Take the jump to read more.

Eagles 7-26 South Africa

Unfortunately for the Eagles it didn't get much better on the day. Arguably their most disappointing performance came in the match in which they should have had the easiest time. Despite a brilliant try from Lauren Doyle (see below) and a back and forth first half that ended at 7-14 to South Africa the Eagles couldn't keep up with South Africa in the second half getting burned too easily for two more tries to seal off the match. When the Eagles look back at this tournament they will likely circle this match as an example of how they could have played better.

Eagles 10-19 Australia

The U.S. best match of the day was probably their match against Australia even though they fell 19-10 to the defending gold medalists. Emilee Cherry put Australia up 5-0 with an early try but the Eagles hung tough. A great break from Ryan Carlyle put the team in scoring position and after a couple of phases Carlyle did well to take the ball from the ruck and dive over for the score. Australia scored after an injury break but not wanting to go into the half without momentum the Eagles struck back with Doyle scoring another try. After Alev Kelter took in the restart Doyle showed great poised to recognize no one was home on the weak side and raced passed the defense. At the half Australia led 12-10. The Eagles stayed with it in the second half and they had their opportunities but a late try from Australia gave them the win.

The U.S. will now take on Ireland in the Challenge Trophy at 3:14 a.m. et/12:14 a.m. pt.


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