Sixth for Eagles in Clermont, Series standings

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France - The USA Women's Eagles Sevens kept their sixth-place standing on the 2016-17 HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series despite losing the HSBC Clermont-Ferrand Sevens Fifth-Place Final, 24-19, to Fiji Sunday.

Naya Tapper scored one of Head Coach Richie Walker's squad's three tries in the defeat to bring her season total to 32, good for second-best behind New Zealand's Michaela Blyde. It also brought her total points scored to a fifth-best 160.

Fiji was two points ahead of the U.S. in the >Series standings heading into the sixth and final round in France, while the home side on the weekend finished fourth to close the gap between six and seven to 12 points.

Viniana Riwai scored twice in the first half - once in the opening minutes prior to Tapper's powerful run from her own 10, 7-7, and again in the sixth after captain Nicole Heavirland gave the Eagles their only lead of the match for a 12-12 score at halftime.

Fiji's style of play was contained in parts by the swarming U.S. defense, but the quick offloads in contact eventually found their way into the hands of player free from pressure. After Cheta Emba and Jessica Javelet had a threatening attack stopped short of the line to a knock, Tima Ravisa finished off a flowing move from midfield for a 19-12 score line.

The Eagles gave possession right back by mishandling the 11th-minute restart, conceding the match-winning try to Ana Maria Naimasi from 20 meters. Javelet neatly spun out of a tackle with a minute to play to bring the Eagles closer at 24-19, but Fiji took the first opportunity it had to end the game with a kick to touch from the restart.

Alev Kelter was named to the Series Dream Team and finished the season with a 10th-best 127 points. She appeared in all six tournaments, captaining the Eagles in five of them. It is the first time an Eagle has been selected to the end-of-year honor roll.

Women's Eagles Sevens | Fiji
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

Fiji | v. USA
1. Merewai Cumu
2. Asinate Savu
3. Vilisi Vakaloloma
4. Ana Maria Naimasi
5. Talica Vodo
6. Pricilla Savavi Siata
7. Rusila Nagasau
8. Lavenia Tinai
9. Ana Maria Roqica
10. Viniana Riwai
11. Lavenia Cavuru
12. Tima Ravisa

Women's Eagles Sevens | 19
Tries: Tapper, Heavirland, Javelet
Conversions: Heavirland (2)

Fiji | 24
Tries: Riwai (2), Ravisa, Naimasi
Conversions: Tinai, Riwai

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 - W 31-14
Fifth-Place Final v. Fiji - L 24-19