USA Eagles
21 14
New Zealand
26 12
Women's Sevens  @ AT&T Park
July 21, 201811:42 am PDT
Rugby World Cup Sevens
Referee:  Sara Cox

Women's Sevens Overcome by New Zealand in Championship Semifinal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA. - One converted try. That's all that stood in the way of the Women's Eagles Sevens and a defeat of New Zealand in the Championship Semifinal at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018. Despite an early effort and a late comeback, USA had difficulty closing gaps on defense, exposing themselves for the 21-26 loss at AT&T Park. 

Now facing Australia in the Bronze Final, the USA Women will return in full force to fight for third place and take a well-earned position on the podium. The game kicks off at 7:22 PM PT, LIVE on NBCSN

Defensive miscues on the U.S. side were exposed early in the game when New Zealand's Michaela Blyde found a gap on the left edge and ran around the middle to score, 0-7. USA's Kris Thomas almost made a breakaway after that but was stopped in her tracks. 

Then, Lauren Doyle spotted Naya Tapper on the edge and tossed it her way for Tapper to dance around New Zealand defenders to tie it up, 7-7. A penalty on New Zealand kept the ball with USA, when Tapper went back at it again to sneak away with the 14-7 lead. 

Though the strength of the U.S. side was evident, the defensive troubles began to show through. New Zealand's Ruby Tui found a wide gap and exploited the mistake for another score, 14-12; but the kick was no good and USA held onto the lead. 

When the second half resumed, New Zealand was held back behind their goal line but Gayle Broughton found a way to make a clean break and run pitchwide to score, 14-17. Eagle Naya Tapper chased closely behind but the tackle came too late. 

Another U.S. attack was stopped short on a high pass that forced Cheta Emba to her feet. A penalty gave New Zealand one more opportunity and Portia Woodman touched down for another, 26-14. 

As the clock wound down, Lauren Doyle pushed her way through the defensive front and launched a final try, but time had expired and the Black Ferns Sevens were away with the 21-26 win. 

Despite defensive challenges, the Women's Eagles Sevens pushed hard through both halves and will now face 2016 Olympic Gold Medalist Australia in the Bronze Final. The game kicks off at 7:22 PM PT, LIVE on NBCSN.

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF | RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS 2018

Head Coach | Richie Walker
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker
Analyst | Dave Gardner
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Matt Long
Athletic Trainer | Sarah Leslie

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS SCHEDULE | RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS 2018

Round of 16
v China | 38-7 (W)

Championship  Quarterfinal
v Russia | 33-7 (W)

Championship Semifinal
v New Zealand | 21-26 (L)

Bronze Final
v Australia | 7:22 PM PT, NBCSN