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The USA Women won their first two matches June 24 in the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in Stade Gabriel Montpeid, Clermont-Ferrand, France. The victories guarantee the team a place in the eight-nation quarterfinals.
In the first round, the Eagles had a difficult time besting Ireland 12-7, after trailing 7-0 at the half. After the break, in the first minute of play, Naya Tapper scooted in for a try that was converted by Nicole Heavirland, making it 7-5 USA. Tight defense kept the Irish from the try line. A squib kick ahead produced an over the head, one handed basketball pass from Jessica Javalet to Ryan Carlyle that added five more points. The match ended with the USA on top 12-5. (See this try at www.worldrugby.org.)
Of note for the future, Tess Fuery of Penn State made her sevens debut in the game against Ireland.
In the second contest, the Eagles rolled to an easy, five-try conquest of Japan 33-5. Alev Kelter scored twice and Perry, Emba, and Fa'avesi added three more. The Eagles led 14-0 at the break.
New Zealand also won their first two games in the same pool, beating Japan 21-10 and Ireland 26-5. The USA and the Black Ferns will play for the top pool slot at 11:50 a.m. today. Game can be viewed free at www. The Rugby Channel.