Las Vegas, Nev. -- Day Three of the USA Sevens began with some exciting play by the men but it was the final for the Women’s International 7s that really got the American faithful to their feet as the USA Eagles took on Canada in front of a growing crowd in Sam Boyd Stadium.
The USA Women’s Eagles 7s team found themselves in a much anticipated final with Canada after dominating to an undefeated record through day one and two in Las Vegas. The Canadians came into Las Vegas as the ones to beat, however, as they displayed their experience and powerful attack early on in the tournament.
From the kickoff of the match, the Canadians came out firing, outpacing the Eagles a few times on the fringes. But the Eagles defense came out very strong too making big hits in front of a roaring crowd. The tackling efforts of the Eagles could not however cover the opening gaps in their defensive lines. Canada was quick to notice an overload on the right side and expose the Eagles in their drifting defensive system. Canada dotted down after Vanesha McGee bit it on an opponent and left her opposite number to catch an easy pass and touch down over the try line. The conversion was made and Canada led 7 to 0 with two minutes gone.
The next attacking opportunity for the Eagles came from a lineout at midfield. Looking to test the Canadian defense with a set play the Eagles spun it wide to try machine McGee. After breaking through a poor tackle attempted by her opposite number she powered her way through one more tackle to clear the defensive line and find herself strolling into the Canadian try-zone all alone. She dotted down to cheers from the crowd. The conversion was missed and the game was tight at Canada 7, USA 5 at half time.
The second half begun with Canada attacking quickly but the USA turned over the ball after using their well-established technique at the break down. After great counter rucking and tackling, the USA pressured the Canadians into making a mistake which result in an Eagles scrum.
The Eagles lost the ball in the resulting phases however and the Canadians were quick to counter-attack against the broken American defense. The Canadians dotted down under the posts after good support and superb offloading. The conversion was made and Canada went up 14 to 5 over the Eagles with a few minutes left.
The last minutes of the game saw the ball change possession quite a few times as both teams attempted to secure victory. The Eagles grew desperate and broke away from their pattern, trying to punch the ball through with a grubber. The kick was chased well by the Eagles but too much power was put into it and the ball rolled out of the end of the try zone as Canada was awarded a 22 meter drop with no time left.
From the kick the USA worked the ball wide again trying everything to score. But the attempt was not to be as the USA knocked it on and Canada was awarded a scrum to finish the game. Canada put the ball into touch to secure the Women’s 7s final and leave the Eagles grasping at a nine point deficit. It was a great weekend for the Eagles though as they went undefeated before the final and beat a strong Netherlands team in an exciting semifinals match. For more information and box scores for the Women’s International 7s tournament please go @Link("[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((675583513))", "Internal", "URI", "here", " lo_id="675583513||682613548" lo_value="[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Links\\Content\\23181D59-134E-7582-B094-AA0E2854B319\\675583513" lo_type="Internal" lo_datatype="URI" lo_namepath="[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((675583513))"").