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The USA Women will play for the ninth to twelfth spot in the Katakyushu Sevens in Japan after not qualifying for the eight-team quarterfinals. The first two contests saw the Eagles perform significantly below their fifth place 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens circuit standings, seemingly, a team without a strategy for success.
In the opener, they were shutout by France 36-0, trailing 19-0 at halftime and unable to score any points. The lack of even one try against Les Bleues would prove to be one of the deciding slipups that prevented the Eagles from advancing to the quarters on score differential.
The second game consisted of a 31-12 loss to the number one ranked Black Ferns from New Zealand. The USA had dug themselves into almost an insurmountable hole with only 12 points for and 67 points against, a huge difference of minus 55.
After England lost to Canada 17-10, the Red Roses had a minus 24 point differential with their 1-2 record. For the Eagles to move forward, they had to defeat Japan by a score that would narrow their score total to minus 23.
In a brave and gutsy performance against the Brave Blossoms, the Eagles went ahead 27-6 at the break, and finally, extended the lead to 45-12 with seconds ticking down. The 33-point lead would reduce the USA point differential to minus 22, and send the Eagles into the field of eight finalists. Japan scored one final try, ending the game with a disappointing 45-17 result, and leaving the Eagles still minus 27. Thomas had a hat trick and Kelter notched two tries in a valiant effort to qualify. It was too little, too late.
The USA will play Japan again to start the matches for the lower 9-12 placement. The winner will play the victor of Canada versus Ireland.
The eight teams that advanced are: NZ v. China, Fiji v. Australia, France v. Russia, and Spain v. England.