USA Eagles
35 28
Russia
14  
Women's Sevens  @ Westhills Stadium
April 12, 201810:30 am PDT
Canada Sevens
Referee:  Adam Jones
FloRugby

Women's Sevens Fly to First Victory of Canada Sevens Over Russia

LANGFORD, B.C. - The Women's Eagles Sevens have begun their Canada Sevens run with a strong 14-35 statement victory over third ranked Russia. In a dominant performance that exposed Russian mistakes from the very beginning, the Women's Sevens crossed the try line five times en route to scoring the most points they ever have against the Bears. Now facing fourth ranked France in match two at 4:46 PM ET, the United States has the confidence they need to make another brilliant showing, LIVE on The Rugby Channel

It took less than one minute for Eagle Naya Tapper to convert an offload on the wing to another one of her trademark, fast-paced breakaway tries, 0-7. The score, a clear indication of the dominant performance fans at Westhills Stadium were about to see, set forth a highly energetic pattern of United States points earned by exposing Russian mistakes. 

On the next attack, a bobbled Russian possession allowed Captain Nicole Heavirland to pickup a turnover and run it all the way to 0-14. A pick and go by Jordan Gray with an offload to Cheta Emba gave the USA an even greater advantage at 0-21. Then, with seconds to go, the Women's Sevens won a lineout, allowing Ryan Carlyle to expose Russia's final mistake of the half for a 0-28 result before the break. 

In the huddle, Head Coach Richie Walker -- proud of the consistency but focused on keeping a level head -- coached his side to focus on the basic principles of their attack. Lowering penalties, employing a sense of urgency at the breakdown and continuing to close defensive gaps was a critical factor in closing out the win. 

And, as the second half resumed, the United States made effective use of Walker's guidance. A turnover stolen by Alev Kelter allowed the standout athlete to mark her 50th international try (0-35), putting the Women's Sevens in a more than comfortable position to close out the game with a strong stance. 

Though they were far ahead, the challenges Walker spoke of during halftime reached the forefront before match official Adam Jones could call full time. The Russian women took advantage of two wide open gaps to allow Captain Daria Noritsina and newcomer Aleksandra Kazantseva to end the shutout, 14-35. 

But, despite openings on the pitch, the gap on the scoreboard was too much for Russia to close, allowing USA to earn an outstanding win to open the tournament. Fourth ranked France (1-0) will be next up to determine which squad moves closer to a Cup Quarterfinal berth. The match begins at 4:46 PM ET, LIVE on The Rugby Channel.

WOMEN'S SEVENS STAFF | 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens

Head Coach - Richie Walker
Athletic Trainer - Kevin Ng
Head of Physical Preparation - Jon Hood
Analyst - Dave Gardner
Team Manager - Liz Strohecker

WOMEN'S SEVENS SCHEDULE | 2018 HSBC Canada Sevens

vs. Russia | 14-35 (W)
vs. France | Sat, May 12 - 4:46 PM ET
vs. Japan | Sat, May 12 - 7:16 PM ET