Women's Sevens
14 0
New Zealand
45 0
Women's Sevens  @ The Sevens Stadium
Dubai Sevens

Black Ferns prove too much for Women's Sevens in Dubai day one finale

DUBAI, UNITED EMIRATES - The Women's Eagles Sevens were well aware of New Zealand and their dominance, but didn't let that phase them as the team was dancing to keep loose in the tunnel, before taking the field. Through 14 minutes, the Black Ferns would live up to the challenge, walking away with a 45-14 victory and a perfect 3-0 in Pool A. The United States finished Day One at 1-2. 

Looking back at Pool A, Head Coach Richie Walker highlights team play and the young talent getting time on the pitch, "We always play to our strengths," said Walker, "We were able to get our young players some game time, Kiki, Megan and Abby all saw the field today."

It didn't take long for Michaela Blyde to show why she had been recently recognized as Women's Sevens Player of the Year, with a crafty kick through the defense only 40 seconds into the game. Her kick found a wide open space behind the Americans and perfectly bounced off the ground to chest-hight as she caught up to it. Gathering it in, Blyde strolled right in for the first try of the match. 

Stacked with award winning players, New Zealand kept scoring in their favor as World Rugby Player of the Year - on the 15s side - Portia Woodman added a try of her own shortly after. Keeping in-bounds from a broken Alev Kelter tackle on the right side, Woodman was able to dot down between the posts. 

The match wasn't all New Zealand however, Kelter raised a few eyebrows with a volleyball-like pass over her head to eventually find none other that Naya Tapper waiting in the wing. Tapper did what she does best... turned on the jets and left each New Zealand defender behind her, cutting the lead to 7 after a Kelter conversion. 

Through to the second half, the United States would dot down just once more. With numbers out wide, Captain Nicole Heavirland took advantage of two quick penalties, crossing the line in the 11'. Walker would engage and flurry of substitutes to bring fresh energy in the game with Sara Parsons, Tia Blythe, KiKi Morgan and Kelsi Stockert all merging in from the sideline. It wouldn't quite be enough against the tournaments top team as the match finally finished, 45-14 in favor of New Zealand. 

Despite the loss, the United States do find themselves in the Cup Quarterfinals tomorrow. Being the first match up in the knock out round, they'll retake the pitch against this same Black Ferns team. Walker's squad will go into the break looking to keep this match up fresh in their minds. 

"We have a positive mindset going into our first game tomorrow." continued Walker, "We always hard against New Zealand."

The Women's Eagles Sevens kick off Quarterfinal play against New Zealand at 12AMET, LIVE on The Rugby Channel.

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS ROSTER | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

1. Jordan Gray
2. Ryan Carlyle
3. Sara Parsons
4. Nicole Heavirland (C)
5. Tia Blythe
6. Alev Kelter
7. Naya Tapper
8. Abby Gustaitis
9. Kelsi Stockert
10. Sarah Buonopane 
11. Kiki Morgan
12. Megan Foster

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

Head Coach - Richie Walker 
Athletic Trainer - Sarah Leslie 
Physical Preparation - Ian Gibbons 
Team Manager - Leanna Corpus 
Analyst - Dave Gardner


Thu, Nov. 30, 2017 
vs. France - L 19-17
vs. South Africa - W 19-15
vs. New Zealand - L 45-14