Women's Sevens
31 17
China
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Women's Sevens  @ The Sevens Stadium
Dubai Sevens

Women's Sevens shutout China in Dubai opener

DUBAI, UAE - Coming off an impressive silver medal showing at home in Colorado, the Women's Eagles Sevens were eager to keep momentum across the globe in Dubai for the second stop of the 2019 World Rugby Women's Sevens Series. They were able to do just that with a breezy 31-0 win over China in the Pool B opener.

Pacing out onto the pitch, the United States first faced a China team who is looking to find it's stride on the sevens series. The imbalance showed early as China struggled to piece together a chain of passes, allowing the Americans to steal possession from a miss pass knock on. Cheta Emba would break down the the Chinese defense, allowing Abby Gustaitis to dive over the line for the first US points in Dubai. 

Naya Tapper, currently sitting three tries shy of Victoria Foyalan for the all-time Women's Sevens lead, picked up possession from another China knock on and seemed to have an opening for points. Standout Chen Kayi would however keep Tapper contained, leading to a penalty on the opposite side. Cue Ilona Maher

Maher had a notable breakout tournament in Glendale and was able to keep momentum in the desert with a try off the line out. So dangerous in space, she was able to open up her speed on the right flank. 

Tack on a try from Emba, US leads 17-0 at the half. 

Making her Eagle debut, Ashlee Byrge was quick to make an impact in the second half. With the US on attack, Byrge was able to complete a brilliant off-balance pass out wide to Kris Thomas for points.

If some is good, more is better as Byrge followed suit with another perfect pass, this time to the inside for Emba. Tallying her second try and giving the Eagles a 31-0 lead, the Emba score would secure the eventual victory. Catching the eye of the commentators, Byrge really showed what focus and athleticism she can bring to this team with both assists. 

Looking ahead, the US takes on England who knocked off contender Australia in their opening match. The Americans are otherwise in for a little redemption as the Red Roses secured a close 12-10 win the last both teams played in Colorado. Kick off at 7:02am ET on World Rugby Sevens Facebook, YouTube and Website Match Center. 


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 | Thurs, Nov. 29 - 7:02 AM ET 
vs Australia | Thurs, Nov. 29 - 9:59 AM ET


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