USA Eagles
7 7
South Africa
26 14
Women's Sevens  @ The Sevens Stadium
December 1, 20164:24 pm 
Dubai Sevens
Referee:  Amy Perrett
FloRugby

Springboks pounce on Eagles in Dubai

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – South Africa responded to a 33-point defeat to Australia at Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens with a 26-7 win over the Women’s Eagles Sevens Thursday.

Captain Lauren Doyle scored the U.S.’s only try in the team’s second match of Pool A play at the opening round of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series. The Eagles previously beat Russia in stunning style and will finish Day One against Australia at 10:43 a.m. ET. The entire tournament is available on The Rugby Channel.

It took time for the Eagles to build into the Russia match, overturning a 10-point deficit in the span of a minute. Against a quicker South Africa team, Richie Walker’s squad never found the final gear.

South Africa took an early lead as the Eagles gave up possession from the restart. A successive penalty sent the U.S. back 10 meters, and the Springboks used the width of the field to create even more space. Phumeza Gadu found the gap between Doyle and Bulou Mataitoga 20 meters from the try line to open the scoring at 7-0.

A failed kick to touch from a penalty did not cost the Springboks possession as the ball rolled into touch, anyway, but a penalty on the other side of the field from a try-saving Mataitoga tackle gave the Eagles an opportunity. Nicole Heavirland took the tap near the five-meter line and put the ball in her captain’s hands, and Doyle ran directly at her opposite number. It took just one fend to break through the line and Doyle’s speed took her the rest of the way to level the match at 7-7 with a minute remaining in the half.

South Africa capped the first frame with a try after the seventh minute, slowly finding a way forward before Marithay Pienaar cut across the grain for a 14-7 score line at the break.

The Eagles struggled to get out of their defensive side of the field in the second half, conceding possession to handling errors and ill-disciplined play. South Africa did its part in punishing the mistakes, led by Nadine Roos and her two tries. Substitute Joanne Fa’avesi could not catch Roos on a run to the corner in the 10th minute and, despite young Kayla Canett holding up a Springbok in-goal, Roos was able to double her tally in the 13th minute to bring the final score to 26-7.

Australia beat Russia in its second match, and needs a positive result against the U.S. to confirm its Cup qualification for Friday. A win for the Eagles at 10:43 a.m. ET and help from Russia against South Africa in the final Pool A matchup would see Walker’s team into the Cup round, as well. The action in Dubai can be viewed live on The Rugby Channel.

Women’s Eagles Sevens | v. South Africa
1. Cheta Emba
2. Ryan Carlyle
3. Kate Zackary
4. Alev Kelter
5. Nicole Heavirland
6. Lauren Doyle
7. Naya Tapper
8. Joanne Fa’avesi
9. Nicole Strasko
10. Kayla Canett
11. Kristine Sommer
12. Bulou Mataitoga

South Africa | v. USA
1. Nomsa Mokwai
2. Christelene Steinhoebel
3. Nadine Roos
4. Zintle Mpupha
5. Zenay Jordaan
6. Veroeshka Grain
7. Phumeza Gadu
8. Lamla Momoti
9. Eloise Webb
10. Mathrin Simmers
11. Jackie Kriel
12. Marithay Pienaar

Women’s Eagles Sevens | 7
Tries: Doyle
Conversions: Kelter

South Africa | 26
Tries: Gadu, Pienaar, Roos (2)
Conversions: Jordaan (3)

Women’s Eagles Sevens | Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
v. Russia – W 12-10
v. South Africa – L 26-7
v. Australia – Thursday, Dec. 1 @ 10:43 a.m. ET