Eagles up against Clermont-Ferrand Cup qualification as Spain earns late result

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France - Spain had the Women's Eagles Sevens' numbers in Canada a month ago and continued the streak of form with a 12-10 defeat of Richie Walker's squad Saturday at HSBC Clermont-Ferrand Sevens. The tournament is being broadcast live to viewers in the United States on The Rugby Channel.

The final round of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series has not been kind to the U.S. thus far following the team's opening Pool A loss to England. After two matches of pool play, however, the Eagles sit relatively well among third-place teams with a negative-21 point differential. A win against Kenya in their final match of pool play at 11:34 a.m. ET would put the team in good standing for a Cup Quarterfinals berth.

Two wins against the Eagles in Vancouver propelled Las Leonas to their best tournament result of the season at HSBC Canada Women's Sevens, with the World Rugby repechage tournament for Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games qualification on the horizon. The U.S. was prepared for the threat the Spanish team posed in its final Series stop prior to the tournament in Monaco, but spent the majority of the first half on defense.

Spain was awarded two put-ins in the first minute of the match, but lost both set pieces to the Eagles' forwards. A third in the third minute was kept, but possession was won by the U.S. in a breakdown a phase later only for Ryan Carlyle to set up another scrum for Spain.

The sustained pressure inside the attacking half finally turned into points for Las Leonas in the sixth minute. The Eagles had defended with mettle and chased Spain towards the touch line, but a penalty was called back, and the ball was tapped quickly and sent towards the gap near the other touch line for Maria Casado to dot down in-goal.

The seventh-minute restart was knocked forward by the Eagles, who managed to push Spain backwards across midfield for the first time. Bui Baravilala turned over the ball in a breakdown near the Spanish 10, and provided the assist to Kathryn Johnson for the game-tying, 5-5, try.

A suddenly confident Eagles team came out of the break with precision, as Baravilala's restart was sent high for Jessica Javelet to run onto for possession. Carlyle had a nice run around the defenders wide to reach the 22 and Spain was whistled for a penalty five meters from its try line, but won the ball back a phase later.

A defensive penalty against the Eagles gave Spain a chance to escape its half with a lineout, which was stolen by the U.S. Javelet's breakaway turned to nothing, however, with another put-in going the way of the Eagles' opponent.

The Eagles won a scrum of their own in the 11th minute, and substitutes Lilly Durbin - making her Series debut in France this weekend - and Victoria Folayan added new-look threats to the attack. Try-scorer Johnson used her quick feet and skill in the 13th minute to suck a defender into the middle of the field before sending a pass out to Durbin, who went over in the corner for her first career international try and the team's first lead of the tournament.

The lead was short-lived, however, as Berta Garcia could not be stopped on a long run to the try zone from the ensuing restart. She did as much as she could to center the try in the face of a Carmen Farmer sliding effort, and it was enough for Patricia Garcia to convert for the 12-10 win.

Kenya made its Series debut today as it will also be heading to Brazil in a few weeks, but, like the Eagles, lost to England and Spain. The final Pool A encounter will kick off from Stade Gabriel-Montpied at 11:34 a.m. ET, with the live broadcast available on The Rugby Channel.

Women's Eagles Sevens | v. Spain
1. Jillion Potter
2. Kathryn Johnson
3. Carmen Farmer
4. Kelly Griffin
5. Kristen Thomas
6. Lilly Durbin
7. Richelle Stephens
8. Bui Baravilala
9. Ryan Carlyle
10. Alev Kelter
11. Jessica Javelet
12. Victoria Folayan

Spain | v. USA
1. Berta Garcia
2. Teresa Bueso
3. Angela Del Pan
4. Patricia Garcia
5. Marina Bravo
6. Elisabet Martinez
7. Iera Echebarria
8. Amaia Erbina
9. Maria Casado
10. Vanessa Rial
11. Lourdes Alameda
12. Maria Ribera

Women's Eagles Sevens | 10
Tries: Johnson, Durbin
Conversions: N/A

Spain | 12
Tries: Casado, Berta Garcia
Conversions: Patricia Garcia

Women's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Clermont-Ferrand Sevens
v. England - L 26-7
v. Spain - L 12-10
v. Kenya - Saturday, May 28 @ 11:34 a.m. ET