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Ian Muir photo

It would be a second-place finish for the USA women in Dubai, as they fell 34-0 to Olympic champion Australia in Friday’s final. The Aussies managed six tries in the shutout win. It’s the USA’s best finish since falling to Canada in the final of its own tournament in Atlanta two seasons ago.

The Eagles ended up with a record of 3-3, having finished third in their pool with losses to France and New Zealand. Then came the shock upset of the Black Ferns in the quarterfinal and a close win over Russia in the semifinal. Amazingly, the USA finished the event with a -52 point differential, but they’ll take 18 points to the next event nonetheless.

The final was one-sided, with the Eagles never in reach. They did possess the ball in the early goings, but Australia would strike first in the third minute through Emma Tonegato for the opening try. They never looked back.

Sharni Williams dotted down next off a long-distance run down the blindside off a ruck. There was enough time for one more kickoff, which Australia converted into a third score ahead of the half, leading 17-0. The onslaught commenced within 90 seconds of the second half start, with Emilee Cherry doing the damage. Dom du Toit then closed out the scoring with a pair of tries.

The women will now break for the Holidays, with their Series commencing Jan. 26-28 in Sydney.