USA Eagles
24
England
28
Women's Sevens
Allianz Stadium
Women's Sevens@Allianz Stadium
January 26, 20181:28 pm AEDT
Sydney 7s

Women's Eagles outpaced by England in Sydney opener

Strong start in Sydney, but England proves too much.  |    Mike Lee

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Naya Tapper wasted no time getting into form with three tries against England today, but the Red Roses kept pace to secure a 28-24 opening win at Sydney 7s. Hoping to tally a victory before facing off with powerhouse New Zealand in Pool B, the Women's Eagles Sevens found themselves in an early two try deficit as England 15s star Emily Scarratt fed veteran Heather Fisher shortly after kick off. A costly Heavirland turn over, on what was a promising drive, then caught the US on their back foot, allowing Holly Aitchison to take advantage and dot down for 5 points. 

With halftime approaching, the United States found their footing with a defensive hold in their own end, leading to a well drawn out 2 minute progression toward the England 22-meter line. Try-scorer Heather Fisher collided with #3 Abby Gustaitis, however Fisher caught the brunt of it as she was forced off the pitch with blood streaming from the forehead. Fisher would be ok, and the Eagles used the time out to regroup and drive Tapper into the try zone for their first score. England's lead was cut to 7 points at the halftime whistle.

Captain Nicole Heavirland made what seems to be the play of the match as she single-handedly forced a Red Roses turnover off the kick, only to find Ryan Carlyle with space on the left flank. Rucking their way back to the center of the pitch at Allianz Stadium, Cheta Emba  - back in the Women's Sevens line up - eyed the reverse pass inside for another Tapper try. The US had leveled the score and momentum was seeming to build.

The final five minutes would see traded tries from each team, with Tapper collecting her third of the game and after a strong drive from substitute Hope Rogers off the left side. However, missed Kelter conversions from difficult angles would prove the difference at the final whistle. 

Scoring chances were abundant in the first outing, but the Women's Sevens will look to sure up the defensive side against Japan. Catch that match LIVE on The Rugby Channel at 9:28PM ET.

Women's Eagles Sevens Roster | Sydney 7s Tournament

Tia Blythe
Sarah Buonopane
Ryan Carlyle
Cheta Emba
Jordan Gray
Abby Gustaitis
Nicole Heavirland (C)
Alev Kelter
Natalie Kosko
Kiki Morgan
Hope Rogers
Naya Tapper

Women's Eagles Sevens Staff | Sydney 7s Tournament

Richie Walker, Head Coach
Sarah Leslie, Athletic Trainer 
Jon Hood, Head of Physical Preparation
Dave Gardner, Analyst
Liz Strohecker, Team Manager

Women's Eagles Sevens Schedule | Pool B | Sydney 7s Tournament

LIVE on The Rugby Channel
vs. England | L 24-28
vs. Japan | W 38-0
vs. New Zealand | L 0-31