Women's Sevens
21 14
Australia
26 14
Women's Sevens  @ The Sevens Stadium
November 30, 20194:49 pm 
Dubai Sevens

Women's Sevens place 4th at Dubai 7s, remain in series top 4.

DUBAI, UAE - In the last match of the weekend for the Women's Eagles Sevens, Australia claimed redemption over their pool play loss to the US with a time-expired try and 26-21 win. While the US won't walk away from Dubai with a medal this year after finishing in silver medal position in 2017, they do collect 14 points in the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series standings, securing them into third place. With the top 4 seeds automatically qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, that is a good place to be. 

"We learnt a lot about ourselves and each other during this tournament," noted Head Coach Chris Brown when asked his overall thoughts on the weekend, "Many first experiences that will consistently occur as we continue to grow through this season."

Off the bat, Nicole Heavirland was able to quick tap from the get go after the Australia kick off didn't travel 10 meters. With a collected first phase, Alev Kelter got the US going with her first try of the tournament on the outside. Having laid down a massive stiff-arm on her defender before running downfield, it was a highlight reel try. 

Kelter ignited another breakaway shortly after but bobbled passes gave the ball over and allowed Evania Pelite a try time score. Naya Tapper answered with a try of her own as halftime approached. While quiet on the scoreline in Dubai, Tapper inched one try closer to the all-time American Women's lead.  

Heading into halftime, Charlotte Caslick stole a try with the clock in the red, securing this match as a real back and forth - try for try affair. 

It being the United States turn to score, Kelter ran through up the middle this time for a second try, but Caslick would follow suit with her own follow up try. The latter however coming with a player advantage after Tapper had been sent to the bin for a high-tackle on Ellia Green. All square at 21 a side with under a minute on the clock.

The United States aimed their focus on containment playing with Tapper on the sideline and seemed to have a lucky break when Australia committing a penalty in their own end. A series of breakthrough attempts from Kelter and Kris Thomas kept the US in the game, but Abby Gustaitis is additionally given a yellow card for an intentional knock on and the Aussies are awarded a reset. 7 on 5 proving to be too much, Lily Dick carried the baton for Australia and scored the bronze medal winning try. 

Some positives to take away from the loss include the game it's self being the second straight medal round match-up. Sealing the Women's Sevens into the top four teams on the series right now and primed for an automatic qualification to Tokyo 2020. 

Lauren Doyle earned Dream Team honors as voted on by the World Rugby broadcasters, well earned notoriety for the co-captain. 

Lastly the 14 points awarded in the 2019 standings become crucial as the usual suspects of New Zealand, Australia, Canada and France also secure double digit point totals and dropped the US to only third place early in the season. 

Additionally, Brown alluded to development with the squad's co-captains since last competing in Glendale, "Lauren and Nicole are really taking ownership and growing as leaders. Also the consistency of the group's intent and fight for each other throughout the tournament has grown."

Looking ahead, the Women's Eagles Sevens will travel back to Chula Vista and begin preparations for Sydney 7s, February, 1-3. Brown's work on's: "How to maximize our attacking opportunities through positioning, understanding the option and execution under pressure."

After a handful of games won and lost by only a slim margin, experience under pressure will for sure be a takeaway from Dubai as the team moves on through the year. 

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS ROSTER

1. Joanne Fa'avesi
2. Abby Gustaitis
3. Cheta Emba
4. Ilona Maher
5. Kristen Thomas
6. Ashlee Byrge*
7. Lauren Doyle (Co-Captain)
8. Alena Olsen
9. Alev Kelter
10. Nicole Heavirland (Co-Captain)
11. Naya Tapper
12. Stephanie Rovetti

*First HSBC World Sevens Series appearance.

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF

General Manager | Emilie Bydwell 
Head Coach | Chris Brown
Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner
Athletic Trainer | Nicole Titmas
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker

EMIRATES AIRLINE DUBAI SEVENS SCHEDULE

Pool B
vs China | W 31-0
vs England | L 14-12
vs Australia | W 22-17

Cup Quarterfinal
vs France | W 12-10

Cup Semifinal
vs New Zealand | L 22-0

Bronze Medal Final
vs Australia | L 26-21