Women's Sevens
26 12
New Zealand
19 5
Women's Sevens  @ Mikuni World Stadium
Kitakyushu Sevens
  Tevita Rokovereni

USA Women's Sevens upset No. 1 New Zealand for trip to Cup Semifinals in Kitakyushu

KITAKYUSHU, JPN. - The Women's Eagles Sevens have upset reigning World Cup Champions and No. 1 seed New Zealand in the Cup Quarterfinals of HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens. After sweeping their pool for the first time since Vegas 2017, the USA added another resilient performance where Kristi Kirshe came off the bench to break a tie game and the American defense held out on the final play to guarantee a trip to the medal rounds.

The United States was easily the more dominant side after building a 12-5 lead at halftime and adding another try on the opening play of the second half.

Following a few early penalties by both teams, the Eagles Sevens found their groove, tossing a sharp pass to Naya Tapper who broke loose on the right wing to score mid posts. The Black Ferns Sevens cut the scoreline just after, moving the ball to the right edges for a corner try after Tapper made an impressive tackle on the other side, 7-5.

Two penalties and a U.S. scrum later, Eagles Sevens’ Kris Thomas ran through a narrow gap and hopped over an attempted tackle to put the United States up by seven right at halftime. The USA remained patient on attack when play resumed, carefully eyeing space as Alev Kelter punished the wing to run more than halfway down the field and increase the lead 19-5.

New Zealand came back to tie the game, however, finding holes and spreading numbers for Niall Williams to score two consecutive tries. The first came on a well-played offload that helped her sneak through the USA defense almost unnoticed, while the second happened when Williams stole an open ball from the U.S. breakdown and ran away with it, 19-19.

The comeback gave the Black Ferns Sevens new momentum; and with only a few minutes to spare, the Eagles Sevens needed to ignite the same fire on their side.

Insert Kristi Kirshe.

Kirshe came off the bench, broke open on the wing and completely outpaced New Zealand for what became the winning try. Alev Kelter added a perfect kick right off the posts for the extras and the USA were back on top.

The United States remained focused and aggressive on the final play, forcing a penalty against New Zealand to reclaim possession and kick to touch for the win.

Now into the Semifinals, the USA will face rival-Canada at 1:20 AM ET with either the Bronze Final at 4:04 AM ET or the Cup Final at 4:30 AM ET to follow. 

All matches are streamed LIVE on facebook.com/WorldRugby7s.


WOMEN’S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF

Head Coach | Chris Brown
Head of Physical Performance | Matt Long
Athletic Trainer | Nicole Titmas
Team Manager | Liz Strohecker


HSBC KITAKYUSHU SEVENS SCHEDULE

Pool C | Broadcast LIVE on World Rugby Sevens Facebook

vs England | 43-7 (W)
vs Fiji | 31-5 (W)
vs Ireland | 15-12 (W)

Cup Quarterfinals
vs New Zealand | 26-19 (W)

Cup Semifinals
vs Canada | 1:20 AM ET

View Pool Draw Here
Visit World Series Stats Center


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