Team USA Women
12 0
12 7
Team USA Women  @ Deodoro Stadium
Olympic Games
  Alhambra Nievas

Team USA lights up Rio with Aussie draw


RIO DE JANEIRO - Jessica Javelet's tries two minutes apart powered Team USA to a 12-12 draw with defending World Rugby Women's Sevens Series Champion Australia Sunday in the final match of Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games pool play.

Richie Walker's team advances to the Quarterfinals of the Rugby Sevens competition at Deodoro Stadium as the best third-place seed of the three pools. The U.S. earned six points from three matches in Pool A - including the loss to second-seeded Fiji and shutout of Colombia - more than Brazil and Spain's five. The Americans will play New Zealand in the Quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday, with the live broadcast available on CNBC.

"The players did what we asked them to do," Walker said. "We would've liked to have won but the players no believe we can play with the best in the world, and we'll take that onto the next game.

"If you look at our performances throughout the tournament we're getting better. Against Australia it was our best game so far, but we don't think it's the best game within us. We have more to give."

Australia began the match with ball in hand as Charlotte Caslick caught Alev Kelter's restart, but Kathryn Johnson crunched Ellia Green with a tackle along the touch line, sending the ball into touch for a U.S. lineout and the Australian onto the bench with an apparent injury.

"We didn't come out with the outcome we wanted, but we hit all the marks we wanted to," Javelet said. "We wanted to come out and play physical against them and did that with the first hit of the game."

"That's a very strong team physically and skills wise, with straight runners. We had to come out hard. This is something that we can build upon for the next game."

The Americans won the lineout and Lauren Doyle passed the ball to Victoria Folayan, who cut through defenders from the U.S. 22 to the Australian 22 before losing possession in the tackle area.

Johnson and Jillion Potter started a trend of American dominance in the breakdown area by stealing the ball, but Kelter conceded a penalty during the attack. Bui Baravilala stole another before Australia pounced on a dropped ball by Folayan. Emma Tonegato reached over the try line through Kelter's tackle to give her side the 5-0 lead.

"We need to bring the same sort of intensity [to the Quarterfinal] that we did against Australia," Assistant Coach Pete Steinberg said. "The tackle contest work was excellent. We have to play our game plan. We didn't do that yesterday."

Australia had an opportunity at a second try called back for a forward pass not 10 meters from the try line, and Caslick kept Folayan from scoring with a lung-busting chase at the end of the half.

Folayan made way for Javelet at the break, and the substitute kept the momentum swinging the U.S.'s way following Kelter's tackle-and-steal combination, running 60 meters for the team's first try. Baravilala converted for a 7-5 advantage.

The Americans were as patient on defense as they were effective in the breakdown area, and clogged Australia's running lanes. A wide pass attempting to avoid the line of defenders was intercepted by Javelet, however, for a second try and 12-5 lead.

As the clock ticked down, Australia benefitted from several penalties by the U.S. and eventually scored a second through Tonegato. The conversion kick from a slight angle was successful to bring the game to an end, level at 12-12.

Team USA's Quarterfinal matchup with New Zealand is set to kick off from Deodoro Stadium at 5:30 p.m. ET on CNBC.

Team USA Rugby Sevens Squad | v. Australia

1. Jillion Potter

2. Kelly Griffin

3. Kathryn Johnson

4. Alev Kelter

5. Bui Baravilala

6. Lauren Doyle

7. Victoria Folayan

8. Carmen Farmer

9. Joanne Fa'avesi

10. Richelle Stephens

11. Ryan Carlyle

12. Jessica Javelet

Team USA Rugby Sevens Squad | Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games

v. Fiji - L 12-7

v. Colombia - W 48-0

v. Australia - D 12-12

Quarterfinal v. New Zealand - Sunday, Aug. 7 @ 5:30 p.m. ET on CNBC