Women's Sevens
12 7
France
10 0
Women's Sevens  @ The Sevens Stadium
Dubai Sevens

Women's Sevens hold off France for consecutive trip to Cup Semifinal

DUBAI, UAE - Right as we thought the Women's Sevens match-ups couldn't get any more exciting, opponent France decided to mix in a little surprise that paid off well for the United States. Deciding to move straight to the restart instead of attempt the game tying conversion failed to pan out in a rare rugby risk, giving the Americans a 12-10 win and ticket to the semifinal. 

A noticeably level of physicality and fight was on display to start day two, an objective Head Coach Chris Brown messaged to his team after pool play. On offense, Naya Tapper led the opening phase with a few wall-breaking runs up the middle - flustering the French defense and giving Co-Captain Lauren Doyle space to tally her first try of the tournament. 

France's struggles to find rhythm continued as their first attempt to loop the ball out wide resulted in a knock on when a seemingly well-forward pass bounced into touch. Doyle seemed to have another breakaway at hand but would be held up. Tack on another French knock on, the match then heads to halftime with a 7-0 US lead. 

As physicality continued to be the theme of the match, Ilona Maher carried first possession in the second half breaking through would be tackles, off loaded to Kris Thomas who would do the very same and drive the ball into the end zone for a second score. Conversion misses, US up 12-0. 

Flashback to October, when France met the US in the USA Women's Sevens semifinal to find Ilona Maher running down a would be French try to preserve the lead in a win or go home game. Now flash forward to the very same play in Dubai. Caroline Drouin raced down the left flank after winning a line out, but a relentless Maher chased her down and once again saved points from the board. 

Despite the effort, France was able to score and earn 5. 

Very shortly after, with time expiring, Anne Cecile Ciofani broke US defenders for France's second try in the final two minutes. This time however, France elected to skip the conversion attempt and head to the restart gunning for a game winning walk-off try. On the restart, Thomas jumped for the grab and is clipped in the air resulting in a French yellow card. Regardless, Thomas reels in the ball and the gamble doesn't pay off for France. USA wins 12-10 and earns a spot in the semifinal. 

The Women's Sevens next take on New Zealand in a Cup Final rematch from Glendale. LIVE coverage starts at 4:28am ET on World Rugby YouTube and World Rugby Sevens Facebook.


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


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