Women's Sevens
17 0
19 0
Women's Sevens  @ The Sevens Stadium
Dubai Sevens
  Aimee Barrett-Theron, South Africa

Women's Eagles Sevens fall just short in Dubai opener

DUBAI, UNITED EMIRATES - The Women's Eagles Sevens held their own against a speedy French team early Thursday, but fall just short of an opening match victory in Dubai

Back on the pitch after a noteworthy Women's Rugby World Cup display with the Women's 15s squad, Alev Kelter picked up right where she left off, notching an immediate try from the left flank ruck before the first minute of play could even finish. Kelter would follow with her own conversion, giving the US a 7-0 lead, and delivering on an early statement. 

Despite the early points, the United States early season form showed in a giveaway penalty during the 3' soon resulting in a French strike up the middle. Fanny Horta, unmarked on the far right side of the pitch, waved down a long pass from Shannon Izar to pick up 5 points and the eventual 7-7 tie. 

The Eagles would settle into play, avoiding a knock on scare deep in their own end to bring the ball back toward midfield. France however, gained momentum out of the breakdown as Izar found the try zone. Two forward passes from both squads then closed out the first half, France with the 12-7 lead.

Determined to pick up the pace in the second half of play, Captain Nicole Heavirland would do just that with a breakaway dash, resulting in a penalty line out to the US.

Keeping the ball in the French end, Jordan Gray made her presence known with a highlight hit on her French counterpart, the forced turnover would lead to a Ryan Carlyle try. After the missed conversion, the US had a tie game on hand in the 10'.

Speed was the name of the game in the final minutes as France's Coralie Bertrand substituted in and with her fresh energy, ran pitch length for a score and Izar conversion.

Not to be outdone, USA's own speedster Naya Tapper responded late with a breakaway of her own. The difference being a missed Heavirland conversion from a tough angle. After the final whistle, France tallied a win, 19-17.

With first-match-of-the-season jitters out of the way, the Women's Eagles Sevens rally into their next match with South Africa, to be seen LIVE on The Rugby Channel.

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS ROSTER | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

1. Jordan Gray
2. Ryan Carlyle
3. Sara Parsons
4. Nicole Heavirland (C)
5. Tia Blythe
6. Alev Kelter
7. Naya Tapper
8. Abby Gustaitis
9. Kelsi Stockert
10. Sarah Buonopane 
11. Kiki Morgan
12. Megan Foster

WOMEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF | Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens

Head Coach - Richie Walker 
Athletic Trainer - Sarah Leslie 
Physical Preparation - Ian Gibbons 
Team Manager - Leanna Corpus 
Analyst - Dave Gardner


Thu, Nov. 30, 2017 
vs. France - L 19-17
vs. South Africa - 7:24 AM ET 
vs. New Zealand - 10:43 AM ET