USA Women vs Ireland Women – USA Sevens Rugby
20 - 12
Cup Qtr FinalsSam Boyd Stadium03/04/201709:28 AMHSBC Women’s Sevens Series

A rematch of the tough Day 1 loss for for the United States stood between the USA women and consecutive top-four finishes. In order to pull out the win, the Eagles would need to avoid the costly errors that opened the door for Ireland fewer than twenty-four hours ago.

USA captain, Alev Kelter put the kickoff up high, giving her side a chance to contest, but the result was a scrum for Ireland instead. Ireland won the scrum and tried to work outside, but the Americans quickly showed that they are as fierce in defense as with ball in hand. A penalty in Ireland’s favor possession just out of reach for the Eagles, but an unforced Ireland error soon gave team USA the scrum feed at the Ireland twenty-two. An offload from Kristen Thomas soon sent Naya Tapper through for her first try of the match. Kelter was unable to add the tough conversion from the left touch line. Ireland took the restart with ease, but a short while later gave up possession with a penalty. Another penalty inside the Ireland twenty-two led to a second try when Ryan Carlyle saw the opportunity to take it quickly and dive over the line. Ireland failed to take the kickoff cleanly, but Joanne Fa’avesi was pinged for tackling a player without the ball. It was a smart penalty to concede as it prevented a scoring chance. Ireland kicked for touch and won the lineout at the USA ten-meter. Another penalty deep in USA territory followed by a third, gave Ireland a chance at scoring before the half. Stacey Flood broke through a tackle attempt by Tapper and took Carlyle in pursuit to stop Flood from reaching a more-kickable spot to place the all down. Carlyle’s resolve saved two-points, as Ireland failed to connect on the conversion.

The restart to the second-half led to physical exchanges in tackles and rucks, but the Eagles held onto possession and were rewarded with a magnificent try by Thomas who stepped through a tackle before returning the lead to ten. Nicole Heavirland’s long conversion attempt fell just to the right of the uprights. Ireland took the ensuing restart, but the Americans once more got the ball back from a penalty and blitzed into the Ireland twenty-two, claiming another penalty on the way. Ireland was let off the hook with what appeared to be an extremely questionable knock-on call. Ireland’s Flood just about broke through for a second score, but lost confidence in herself and offload to a less advantageous player. Ireland then lost the ball forward, giving possession back to the Americans. Tapper wasted no time making Ireland pay. She found the edge down the left touchline and out ran Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe with a grace and speed that made outpacing a world-class athlete look easy. Ireland still showed signs of life, with Flood again opening up running lanes outside, but Ireland struggled to utilize the space to full effect. Eventually, Megan Williams found a gap for a score between the posts. The try was far too little far too late. The conversion merely flattered Ireland on the scoreline: USA 20, Ireland 12.