Women's Sevens
26 7
10 10
Women's Sevens  @ Spotless Stadium
Sydney 7s
  Madeline Putz

USA Women's Sevens defeat China in opening match of HSBC Sydney Sevens

SYDNEY, AUS. - It wasn't easy at first, but the Women's Eagles Sevens got it done. In their first match of HSBC Sydney Sevens, more than 60 days since last taking the pitch, the USA women defeated China 26-10 to open the third round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019. 

China played well to open the first half as Liu Xiaoqian claimed the first try 0-5  after USA's Cheta Emba was called for a high tackle. The Chinese were in good form, applying pressure on the Eagles Sevens and forcing a number of penalties which made it difficult for USA to maintain possession. 

But soon enough, Naya Tapper received the ball on the edge -- and after a monster fend -- worked her way around the edges to give the Americans their first try 7-5. Tapper's score was not only a huge momentum builder for the United States, but also saw her tie Victoria Folayan as the USA Women's Sevens All-Time Leading Try Scorer. Tapper needs only one more try to break the record. 

China's Liu Xiaoqian struck again right before the half, scoring a try in the corner despite almost losing control on a USA  tackle. 

When play resumed, the energy shifted back in favor of the Eagles Sevens. 

A penalty on the Chinese for not releasing allowed Nana Fa'avesi to make strong moves and reach over the line mid-tackle to dot down, 12-10. The try was Fa'avesi's first of the season. 

And with substitutions made to keep the energy flowing, Kasey McCravey and Kristi Kirshe jumped and made meaningful contributions to make their national team debuts. 

A perfect first touch by McCravey fed the ball to Kris Thomas who kept her feet carefully in place on the flank to increase the lead, 19-10. 

It was then Kirshe who made a significant name for herself on the following attack. Spotting the perfect chunk of space, the debutant ran straight down the middle into wide open space completely outpacing Chinese defenders to score her first ever for the United States, 26-10. 

A few more set piece phases and the match referee blew the final whistle with the USA Women's Sevens on top. 

The Americans will next face Spain (0-1) at 12:12 AM ET, LIVE and for free on facebook.com/worldrugby7s

Women's Eagles Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Chris Brown
Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner
Athletic Trainer | Nicole Titmas
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker

HSBC Sydney Sevens 2019 Schedule & Results

Pool C | Broadcast LIVE on World Rugby Sevens Facebook

vs China | 26-10 (W)
vs Spain | Fri, Feb 1 - 12:12 AM ET
vs Australia | Fri, Feb 1 - 2:56 AM ET

*Knockout rounds begin Fri, Feb 1 at 8:06 PM ET, updated matchups and timings will be posted on Twitter.com/USARugby.