Eagles drop second match in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - The Women's Eagles Sevens rebounded from an Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens-opening defeat with a three-try performance against Fiji Thursday, but came out on the losing end of the 24-19 Pool B match.

Nia Williams followed Richelle Stephens in scoring her first career HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series try at 7he Sevens Stadium, and earned a two-minute trip to the sin bin for another first. Following Canada's defeat of Ireland, the Eagles remain the only winless team in Pool B, and finish pool play against the border rival at 9:13 a.m. ET.

Alev Kelter's restart was slapped by Jillion Potter before finding Fiji hands, and it took mere seconds for the Fijians to get into the Eagles' half and score. Rebecca Tavo used a free hand in a tackle to offload to Luisa Basei Tisolo, who galloped down the wing for a 5-0 lead.

Rusila Nagasau's individual run from midfield to the Eagles' 22 in the third minute was supported by several Fijians, and Litia Naiqato finished the play with a try. A second consecutive unsuccessful conversion eluded Fiji to keep the score at 10-0.

Like they did in the loss to Ireland earlier in the day, the Eagles ended their own attempts to score with penalty troubles. Following an offensive penalty behind the U.S. 10, Williams was shown a yellow card to force the Eagles to defend with six players for the second consecutive match.

Potter held onto a Fijian jersey to keep the score at 10-0 immediately following the sinning, and the Eagles methodically used time and space to enter Fiji's half. Lauren Doyle had two separate runs past the gain line along the left wing, where Megan Bonny held off a defender to offload to Kristen Thomas. The former AIG Women's Collegiate All-American slipped out of one tackle and dragged Tavo a few strides towards the try zone before getting the Eagles on the scoreboard.

The U.S. came out of the break down, 10-5, but reenergized with Williams back on the pitch. It took two defenders to bring down Bonny at Fiji's 10 in the first minute of the half and Kelter fended another to close in on the 22. Williams arrived at the breakdown as the ball popped out and deftly swung around the players to run freely into the try zone. The Eagle's first career try, with Kelter's successful conversion, gave the Eagles a 12-10 lead.

Despite getting within 10 meters of the in-goal area during the post-restart possession, a penalty allowed Fiji to clear the danger with a break. Lavenia Tinai used a dummy pass to create space and restore Fiji's lead to 17-12 before Bonny countered with a 55-meter try of her own on the ensuing restart.

The Eagles entered the final 90 seconds of the match with a 19-17 lead, and it took less than 30 seconds for Fiji to take it away from them. In typical Fijian fashion, a break past midfield preceded a set of slick passes in contact for Naiqato to maneuver in-goal. A successful conversion made the score 24-19, and Fiji took possession from the restart to see out the win.

Should Fiji finish pool play with an undefeated record, beating Ireland in its final match, the Eagles will hold their destiny in their own hands. Currently sitting on two points in Pool B, the U.S. can qualify for the Cup round with a win against Canada at 9:13 a.m. ET. The match will be streamed live on World Rugby's website, and live match updates will be provided on Twitter by @USARugby.

Women's Eagles Sevens | v Fiji

1. Kathryn Johnson

2. Kristen Thomas

3. Jillion Potter (C)

4. Alev Kelter

5. Jane Paar

6. Nia Williams

7. Lauren Doyle

8. Kate Zackary

9. Kelly Griffin

10. Megan Bonny

11. Richelle Stephens

12. Jessica Javelet

Fiji | v USA

1. Litia Naiqato

2. Jiowana Sauto

3. Talica Vodo

4. Rebecca Tavo

5. Timaima Tamoi

6. Timaima Rosi Lulutai Ravisa

7. Ana Maria Roqica (C)

8. Lavenia Tinai

9. Vaiti Waqabatu

10. Viniana Naisaluwaki Riwai

11. Rusila Nagasau

12. Luisa Basei Tisolo

Women's Eagles Sevens | 19

Tries: Thomas, Williams, Bonny

Conversions: Kelter (2)

Discipline: Williams (Yellow)

Fiji | 24

Tries: Tisolo, Naiqato (2), Tinai

Conversions: Tisolo, Tinai

Women's Eagles Sevens | Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens

v. Ireland - L 12-5

v. Fiji - L 24-19

v. Canada - Thursday, Dec. 3 - 9:13 a.m. ET