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The Women’s Eagles will rematch New Zealand after completing Day One as the second best third place team. Although the Eagles lost twice during the first two matches of pool play, 12-35 to New Zealand and 12-14 to France, they finished the day with a 26 -7 victory over Spain.
During match one, New Zealand capitalized on the Eagles' mistakes, using skill and individual athleticism to carve their way. Hazel Tubic dotted down the first converted try, but was soon answered by the USA’s Kathryn Johnson. The conversion attempt was short. Late in the first half, Portia Woodman made good of a US turnover by running in New Zealand’s second try of the match. The conversion was good. New Zealand’s Woodman struck again during the opening minute of the second half, advancing their lead to 21-5. Shortly after, Kayla McAlister added another try to the count off of a quick tap. The Eagles’ newest addition, Kristen Thomas, made an intro with her first try of the series. Kathryn Johnson successful converted, bringing the Eagles seven points closer. But in the closing moments, New Zealand’s Gayle Broughton scored off of a USA turnover, ending the match with a score of 35 – 12.
Match two was much closer for the Eagles versus France. During the first minute of the match, Eagle’s Captain Kelly Griffin took a quick tap and scored, giving the US a 5 – 0 lead. Minutes later, Victoria Folayan received a yellow card for an intentional knock on and France responded with their first converted try and lead by Marjoire Mahans. The half ended 5 -7 in Frances favor. Impact subs Alev Kelter and Joanne Fa’avesi added some spark to the USA lineup in the second half, however, it was not enough to keep the French out of the try zone. Caroline Ladagnous put down the first try of the second half off of a line out deep in US territory widening the gap 5 - 14. Kristen Thomas quickly responded with an impressive near 80-meter run to bring the Eagles five points closer to their opponents. The try was converted, but time soon expired with France pulling off the win 12 – 14.
The third match proved to be a charm for Team USA. After five minutes of dropped passes and fragmented attacks for both the Eagles and Spain, Kristen Thomas, in support of Jessica Javelet, scored her third try of the day, giving the USA a 7 - 0 lead. Victoria Folayan, in grace and style, added another five and with the conversion, gave the Eagles a 14 – 0 lead at the half. Elisabeth Martinez put Spain on the scoreboard with a converted try, capitalizing on a US penalty. Soon after, Jessica Javelet turned scoring not one but two tries to close out the match with a score of 26-7.
The US will face New Zealand at 8 a.m. ET live at www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series.