USA stumbles into Dubai 11th-Place Match

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A late yellow card helped propel Japan to a 15-14 upset of the Women's Eagles Sevens in the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens Bowl Semifinal Friday.

Kristen Thomas scored both of the Eagles' tries, but a Japan score on the last play of the match proved the difference between playing for a trophy and not at 7he Sevens Stadium. A Pool B rematch between the U.S. and Ireland is on tap in the 11th-place Match at 5:42 a.m. ET.

The Eagles seemed to knock off some of the cobwebs that had plagued their day one in the opening minute of the match, when Jillion Potter won the kickoff and Thomas broke a tackle to take a 7-0 lead.

An early knock in the own half did not hurt the Eagles on the scoreboard, but penalties did keep them scoring on multiple occasions. Lauren Doyle had a run cut short for a penalty and, following a try-saving tackle by Thomas in the sixth minute, a successive penalty allowed Ano Kuwai to dot down over the try line.

Thomas chased down Marie Yamaguchi after throwing a pass away with time expired to keep the Eagles' 7-0 lead at halftime, and singlehandedly increased the lead to 14-5 by taking the second-half restart to the try zone.

Japan controlled possession for the majority of the remaining minutes in the second half. Despite the opponent settling into their half, the Eagles defended with purpose to close any gaps. In the 11th minute, however, an offload through a Kate Zackary tackle found Yoko Suzuki, who just reached the try line before Doyle could wrap her opposite number.

The U.S. could not control the restart for Japan to set up in its attacking half again, and, after a few vital tackles 10 meters from the line, Potter was shown a yellow card. Playing with an extra body on the pitch, Japan kept the ball close to the try zone. With seconds remaining on the clock, Suzuki followed Yamaguchi's run towards the try line to dive over and score the match-winning try on the last play. The missed conversion sealed the one-point, 15-14, score line.

Ireland handed the Eagles their first loss of the season Thursday, and Jules McCoy's charges will have the opportunity to redeem themselves in the 11th-Place Match at 7th Sevens Stadium at 5:42 a.m. ET. The match can be viewed live on the World Rugby website.

Women's Eagles Sevens | v Japan

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

Japan | v USA

1. Chiharu Nakamura (C)

2. Makiko Tomita

3. Mateitoga Bogidraumainadave

4. Aya Takeuchi

5. Yume Okuroda

6. Ano Kuwai

7. Marie Yamaguchi

8. Chisato Yokoo

9. Keiko Kato

10. Mifuyu Koide

11. Yuka Kanematsu

12. Yoko Suzuki

Women's Eagles Sevens | 14

Tries: Thomas (2)

Conversions: Kelter, Stephens

Japan | 15

Tries: Kuwai, Suzuki (2)

Conversions: N/A

Women's Eagles Sevens | Emirates Dubai Rugby Sevens

v. Ireland - L 12-5

v. Fiji - L 24-19

v. Canada - L 35-5

Bowl SF v. Japan - L 15-14

11th v. Ireland - Friday, Dec. 4 - 5:42 a.m. ET