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USA Women Improve to 5th in SVNS Rankings

  • 28 Jan 2024
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USA 7s women's rugby

The USA Women’s 7s Team improved two spots  on the HSBC SVNS series rankings, moving from 7th to 5th after banking 14 points in Perth. The Eagles went 2-4 in Australia, finishing 4th overall, and have a month to ready for the next rugby tournament in Vancouver (Feb. 23-25). [All photos c/o Alex Ho @hoiho_photo]

“The women’s game just continues to elevate, every competition,” USA Women’s 7s Team Head Coach Emilie Bydwell said. “Teams are here for it this season, and every team can beat us on a given day, and we can beat any team. Momentum means next to nothing game to game in sevens and we need to be prepared to deliver effort, compete, play to our identity and really elevate in every game. We showed some great positives that we have been working hard at on the home front, and then some inconsistencies that are still to be addressed.”

 

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The Eagles were placed in Pool C along with Ireland (19-14 loss), Japan (33-5 win) and New Zealand (24-7 loss). Kristi Kirshe scored five tries during pool play, while Jaz Gray (2) and Ilona Maher also contributed tries. Alena Olsen (3), Kayla Canett (2), Alev Kelter and Nicole Heavirland kicked conversions.

“Whether it’s flooding support lanes or being there to secure possession, digging deeper to switch into that next gear to finish, or nailing that last pass – these are the details that make the difference when every team is competing so hard to win,” Bydwell added. “These moments need to give us the confidence that we are creating opportunities and fuel our desire to refine the detail so that we capitalize more consistently.”

 

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Despite the 1-2 record, the USA secured a Cup quarterfinal berth and did a great job subduing France in a 21-5 victory. Kelter led with 16 points, accounting for two tries and all three conversions. Sammy Sullivan added the other five points. Australia awaited in the semifinals and the hometown squad triumphed 24-7. The Americans also gave up 24 points in the 3rd place match against Great Britain, but late tries from Tapper – who also accounted for the try against Australia – and Kelter made it 24-10 at the buzzer.

The group has less than a month before the next series stop in Canada, and then round five occurs in Los Angeles on March 2-3. The overall HSBC SVNS series includes eight tournaments and follows with events in Hong Kong, Singapore and Madrid. And then of course, the 2024 Olympics erupt in Paris this July.

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