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The United States moved to 2-0 in the Atlanta 7s with a 19-12 win over Russia. The Eagles jumped out to a 19-0 first half lead and withstood sustained Russian pressure to hold on for the victory.
The first several minutes of the match were sloppy with a knock on from the Eagles into touch and poor ball handeling from Russia After the knock on, the Eagles stripped Russia of the ball for several minutes. The Eagles probed the Russian defense until Vix Folayan took the ball into contact and offloaded to Megan Bonny for a try under the posts. The Eagles missed the conversion, however, taking a 5-0 lead.
The United States dominated possession for much of the first half but aggressive defense from Russia kept the Eagles at bay until less than two minutes remaining in the first stanza. After her hat trick in the first game, Folayan was held scoreless in game two, as she came off with what appeared to be a leg injury. Her substitute, however Kristen Thomas made an immediate impact, outflanking her opposite number and beating the fullback for a full field try.
The United States was not done in the first half, and despite a number of sloppy passes and a series of broken play, Jessica Javalet received an offload from Thomas for a try in the left corner. The Eagles made the tough conversion for a 19-0 halftime lead.
Russia responded first in the second half after a long spell of good defense from the Eagles. Ekaterina Kazakova slipped through a ruck on a pick and go, thanks to a missed tackle from Javalet. The Russian stepped the Eagle fullback and went the distance to cut the lead to 19-5.
The Europeans made things interesting with a try with less than a minute to play in the game. Russia pushed the ball from side to side, probing for an opening, finally finding a hole on the left side of the defense. After a line break and an offload to Nadezda Kudinova, the Russian veteran, used a nifty inside move to score under the posts.
With less than a minute to go the Eagles clung to a 19-12 lead. The United States won the kickoff, however, and was able to milk the clock and find touch to hold on for the 19-12 victory.
The Eagles looked very tired in the second half and much less clinical as a whole, than against South Africa this afternoon. They will need to renew their focus as they battle New Zealand tonight for what should be the group determining game.