from USA Rugby:
AMSTERDAM – The USA Women’s Eagle Sevens made a dazzling run to the Cup Final of the Amsterdam Sevens this weekend. England, Australia, South Africa and Wales are among the teams that fell to a very sharp Eagles’ outfit, but it was their archrival Canada that stormed back in the championship game though and snatched a victory from the USA’s clutches.
Replays of the matches are available on the Amsterdam Sevens YouTube channel.
On day one, the USA beat Wales and South Africa handily and proceeded to take out England 12-7 to end with a 3-0 record to top their pool. After day one, the six top teams were divided into two groups of three, with the top team in each pool advancing to the Cup Final.
Laying in the path to the Cup for the Eagles on the second day were Spain and reigning world champions, Australia.
The Eagles took on Australia to start the day and both teams struggled with handling due to the drizzly Dutch weather. Australia struck first, but Vanesha McGee responded with a 60-meter break to score and level things up. McGee got another try before halftime cutting across field and turning the corner on the Australian defense to give the Eagles at 12-7 lead.
USA captain, Deven Owsiany, gave her team a 17-7 cushion running a great line off Katie Dowty following a quick tap. Australia are champions for a reason though and answered with a try to close the gap to three points.
The USA defense held to close the game out. The win was the first time the Eagles beat Australia this year, marking great progress and determination.
Spain was up next for the USA and proved to be a real challenge as the match ended in a 12-12 tie. The Eagles clawed back from a 0-12 deficit to 10-12 late in the game and Baravilala once again showed her steely demeanor under pressure, slotting the tying conversion and propelling the Eagles into the Cup Final.
A strong start for the USA against Canada gave them a 14-5 lead at the half with the usual suspects – McGee and Baravilala – scoring. Baravilala turned the corner on the Canadian defense and converted her try and McGee dotted one down just before the half.
Kelly Griffin extended the lead to 19-5 in the second half with a dazzling score. With a two score lead and time winding down, Canada kicked into gear and fought their way back with two scores, drawing within two points with only three minutes to go.
A last ditch effort by Canada saw them score the game winner and once again take out the Eagles in a Cup Final.
While the loss in the Cup is devastating, two good wins over Australia and England mark great progress and potential for USA Head Coach Ric Suggitt’s young team.
Baravilala earned her first cap just a week ago in London and in Amsterdam, the 20 year-old Hawaii native earned Player of the Tournament honors.
For full results, pools & schedule, go here.