DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Women’s Eagles Sevens took on IRB Women’s Sevens World Series debutant Ireland in the first match of the Emirate Dubai Rugby Sevens Thursday and came away with a 12-12 draw.
Ashleigh Baxter wasted no time in opening Ireland’s account at The 7evens, scoring just after 40 seconds into the first half. Claire Keohane missed the conversion, but the Eagles had to make up ground from 5-0 down.
Megan Bonny, a member of the Women’s Eagles in this year’s IRB Nations Cup in Greeley, Colo., knotted the match at 5-5 near the end of the half after the Eagles stole an Ireland lineout. Amelia Villines kicked the close conversion to give the Eagles a 7-5 lead.
Just before the end of the half, Keohane replied with a try after a long run from Alison Miller. She converted her own try for a 12-7 Ireland lead at the half.
Eagles Head Coach Ric Suggitt brought on fresh legs in the form of Lauren Doyle, who recovered from an injury at the end of last season, and USA Rugby AIG Women’s Collegiate All-American Dana Mechisi to give his team a boost.
Victoria Folayan was sent to the sin bin midway through the second half, but the Eagles maintained the majority of possession during her absence.
Another substitute and WCAA, Rebekah Siebach, entered the match and made an immediate impact with a try in the 13th minute, though Kelly Griffin missed the tough-angled conversion.
With less than a minute left, the Eagles made their way down the field, looking for a try to put them in front. A penalty after the final whistle gave Ireland the opportunity to end the match, and a kick into touch did just that.
The draw still gives the Eagles a chance to qualify for the Cup Quarterfinal, as Fiji lost to New Zealand 33-7. Fiji is the Eagles’ next opponent at 8:04 A.M. ET. Follow live updates from Dubai on Twitter @USARugby and watch all of the tournament’s matches on the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series website.
Women's Eagles Sevens | v Ireland
1. Jillion Potter
2. Kelly Griffin
3. Kathryn Johnson
4. Deven Owsiany
5. Lauren Doyle
6. Liz Sowers
7. Victoria Folayan
8. Lorrie Clifford
9. Dana Meschisi
10. Rebekah Siebach
11. Amelia Villines
12. Megan Bonny