Women's Sevens
24 12
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Women's Sevens  @ Fifth Third Bank Stadium
Atlanta Sevens
The Rugby Channel


KENNESAW, Ga. - The Women's Eagles Sevens shut out Spain, 24-0, in their first match at HSBC Atlanta 7s Friday for win No. 1 under new head coach Richie Walker.

The crowd at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University cheered on the home team and received a delightful display from the women wearing red, white, and blue. Lauren Doyle returned to the side after having missed the last round of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series and scored two tries, while Alev Kelter proved a handful with ball in hand.

"I'm happy to get the win first up," Walker said. "I thought the girls played really well, and, with the new transition, it was tough to see how it was going to go. But they did exactly what they needed to do and stuck to the plan really well."

The Eagles were able to start the match with possession thanks to an error from Spain on the opening restart. Bui Baravilala stayed hungry in contact as the team worked into the attacking half, and Jessica Javelet went for the try line down the touch line before being dragged into the dead ball area. Spain lost the ball forward in its own set piece, and the Eagles capitalized with the tap as Kelter turned around four defenders for the opening score.


Spain crossed midfield in open play just once in the match, and it was in the fifth minute as Kelter laid out her opposite number. The Eagles made sure the defending in their own half did not last long, showing technical prowess in the breakdown to draw a penalty near the 10.

Turnovers galore in set pieces for both teams ended when the Eagles won a scrum at midfield, and swung the ball wide to space with Doyle and Javelet on the wing. Doyle dummied a pass to her teammate on the outside before taking contact, spinning out of the attempted tackle, and running to the posts for a 12-0 halftime lead.

Kelter kicked off the half with a brilliant restart catch and 20-meter forward run through more than half of Spain's team. The Eagles hustled in support and Javelet took the ball down the wing before finding Doyle for a 19-0 score line.

Spain was hemmed into its own half in the ensuing minutes, and attempted a chip kick over the U.S. defense to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately for the visiting team, the kick was short and collected by Kristen Thomas, who did not need a second chance to take the ball into the in-goal area. Baravilala converted her second try of the match to bring the final score to 24-0.

The Eagles trail New Zealand in Pool C on point differential, a nine-point difference, after the first round of matches. The reigning Series champion defeated Japan by a heavy margin in its first match of the day, though Japan was able to penetrate the defense on one occasion. The U.S. plays Japan next in Kennesaw, with kickoff scheduled for 5:04 p.m. ET.

"We have to be more switched on," Walker said of the Eagles' second matchup. "Japan are well disciplined, well drilled, and they do the basics really well as far as tackling, the ruck area, and moving the ball.

"We have to go to the next level."

Atlanta 7s can be streamed live in the United States on The Rugby Channel, with a 30-day free preview available to viewers. Live match updates are also provided on Twitter via @USARugby.

Women's Eagles Sevens | v. Spain

1. Jillion Potter (C)

2. Megan Bonny

3. Kate Zackary

4. Amelia Bizer

5. Ryan Carlyle

6. Nicole Heavirland

7. Alev Kelter

8. Bui Baravilala

9. Lauren Doyle

10. Richelle Stephens

11. Kristen Thomas

12. Jessica Javelet

Spain | v. USA

1. Berta Garcia

2. Paula Medin

3. Angela Del Pan

4. Patricia Garcia

5. Marina Bravo

6. Elisabet Martinez

7. Iera Echebarria

8. Irene Schiavon

9. Maria Casado

10. Vanessa Rial

11. Amaia Erbina

12. Teresa Bueso

Women's Eagles Sevens | 24

Tries: Kelter, Doyle, Thomas

Conversions: Baravilala (2)

Spain | 0

Tries: N/A

Conversions: N/A

Discipline: Garcia (Yellow)

Women's Eagles Sevens | HSBC Atlanta Sevens

v. Spain - W 24-0

v. Japan - Friday, April 8 @ 5:04 p.m. ET

v. New Zealand - Friday, April 8 @ 7:26 p.m. ET