Five for Australia in Clermont Cup Quarterfinals

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France - Australia dashed the USA Women's Eagles Sevens' hopes for a Cup Final appearance at the final round of the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Sunday with a 31-14 defeat at HSBC Clermont-Ferrand Sevens.

Naya Tapper recorded her 30th try of the six-leg season in the loss, which is the second consecutive Quarterfinal loss to the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games gold medalist in two tournaments. The U.S. will now play for fifth place, starting against Ireland at 9:06 a.m. ET, to better their Series standing. All of the action from Stade Gabriel Montpied can be watched live on The Rugby Channel.

The Eagles had the perfect start with Tapper breaking free of the defense in the opening minute of the game, scoring the first try with a sidestep and fend from 40 meters. Captain Nicole Heavirland converted the try, 7-0, but a knock at midfield in the next possession gave Australia the perfect opportunity to counter. Alev Kelter did not have the pace to catch Charlotte Caslick from the fourth-minute set piece for a tie game, 7-7.

A penalty against debutant Sara Parsons on the ensuing restart and a second as Australia neared the 22 found Emilee Cherry with a lane to run for the tie-breaking try in the fifth minute, and Australia created an overlap from another mistake at the restart for Caslick to find Cherry for the Australian's second at the break, 19-7.

After Kelter combined with Jessica Javelet on the wing to bring the Eagles into scoring possession early in the second half, Cheta Emba supported Ryan Carlyle in the middle of the field before Carlyle took the ball from the ruck to the posts to bring the deficit to five points at 19-14. Kelter made a patented try-saving tackle moments later as Caslick made a run for the corner, but the Eagles could only hold Australia out of the in-goal area for another minute until Caslick shrugged off a tackle to provide Elania Pelite with the try assist, 26-14. Caslick added the final try, 31-14, from U.S. ball-handling errors.

Head Coach Richie Walker's side responded to the early challenge of Ireland straight away in pool play Saturday. The two will face off once more this season in Sunday's Fifth-Place Semifinal, scheduled to kick off at 9:06 a.m. ET.

Women's Eagles Sevens | Australia
1. Cheta Emba
2. Joanne Fa'avesi
3. Sara Parsons
4. Nicole Heavirland (C)
5. Ryan Carlyle
6. Mata Hingano
7. Jessica Javelet
8. Ashley Perry
9. Natalie Kosko
10. Tess Feury
11. Alev Kelter
12. Naya Tapper

Australia | v. USA
1. Shannon Perry
2. Sharni Williams
3. Emma Sykes
4. Demi Hayes
5. Dominique Du Toit
6. Evania Pelite
7. Charlotte Caslick
8. Chloe Dalton
9. Brooke Walker
10. Alicia Quirk
11. Emilee Cherry
12. Cassandra Staples

Women's Eagles Sevens | 14
Tries: Tapper, Carlyle
Conversions: Heavirland (2)

Australia | 31
Tries: Caslick (2), Cherry (2), Pelite
Conversions: Dalton (3)

Women's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Clermont-Ferrand Sevens
v. Ireland - W 12-7
v. Japan - W 33-5
v. New Zealand - L 19-14
Cup QF v. Australia - L 31-14
Fifth-Place SF v. Ireland - Sunday, June 25 @ 9:06 a.m. ET