Women's Sevens
14 14
21 7
Women's Sevens  @ Spotless Stadium
Sydney 7s
  Amy Perrett

USA Women's Sevens fall to Spain on second half penalties

SYDNEY, AUS. - Precision at the breakdown should never be underestimated. In the second match of Pool C at HSBC Sydney Sevens 2019, the Women's Eagles Sevens fell to Spain by way of a 14-21 result decided in the second half. 

After an opening victory over China and a well-played first half with Spain, the United States struggled to maintain their form at the breakdown. The Spanish ran away with two back-to-back tries in the second half, taking the lead out from under the USA and notching their first win of the day. 

It took a solid four minutes before either side could put the first points on the board; Spain held the bulk of possession while the USA defense held strong to keep their opponents out of its own territory. 

The first try finally came when a perfectly tipped pass from Eagles Sevens' Lauren Doyle fell into Kris Thomas' hands. Thomas ran down the stretch with no one around her to make it 7-0. 

Spain answered back immediately on the kickoff, spotting a gap of space and catching the USA completely off guard.

With an even score, the Americans knew they needed one more to take momentum before the half. And just like that, newcomer Kristi Kirshe put fuel to fire and outpaced defenders for the second try of her debut tournament, 14-7. 

After a back and forth first half, the Eagles Sevens had emerged as the dominant force. But the scales would tip when play resumed to reveal a number of miscues at the breakdown. 

American Lauren Doyle was crushing a run on the outside, almost sure to make to the tryline, until a tackle and penalty to Spain entirely destroyed the moment. 

Spain ultimately scored two tries in the final half -- both from USA penalties -- despite the Eagles Sevens still showing strength on defense. 

A United States miscue allowed the Spanish to quickly tap and go, dotting down in the corner to tie it up, 14 all. Then, with Spain meters from the line, the American defense held up a ballcarrier only to have Captain Nicole Heavirland draw a yellow and spend the next two minutes on the sideline. 

With the advantage, Spain tried to score but the ball slipped and no try was awarded. A penalty for holding on too long allowed them to recover, however, scoring the match-winning try just before time erupted. 

On the final play, USA's Cheta Emba was pushed to touch on a strong outside carry and the Spanish walked away with the win, 14-21.

The Women's Eagles Sevens have one final matchup with Australia at 2:56 AM ET, LIVE 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 | 14-21 (L)
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.


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