DUBAI – The USA Women's Sevens team stormed out of the gates on day one of the Dubai Sevens tournament, knocking off France by 20 points, but their roll was slowed by the Netherlands and Australia as both teams snuck by the Eagles to leave the USA with a 1-2 record after the first day of play.
The win against France was very convincing by the Eagles. Young star Bui Baravilala scored a brace and was dominant in contact. She also exhibited her sublime skill scoring one of her tries from an up-and-under she kicked to herself. And when other names you would expect to see on the score line like Emilie Bydwell, Vanesha McGee, and Vix Folayan show up, you know it was a good game for the USA.
The team looked cohesive in support, continuity, and defense. With the Netherlands up next, the Eagles would be tested in all phases.
The Eagles set out their intentions early in the first half, dominating possession and territory and scoring an early try. Things looked to be going the Eagles' way, but numerous opportunities were missed against a solid Netherlands defense. Penalties and basic errors kept the Dutch in the game. As storm clouds gathered over the pitch, the wind and rain led to more errors and a go-ahead try for the Netherlands. With just seconds to go the Eagles had possession but again failed to take their chances. A disappointing loss was something the team would have to overcome before they took on reigning World Champions, Australia to finish the day.
A strong effort in recovering from two early unconverted tries by Australia, the USA fought back before halftime as Christy Ringgenberg scored a beauty that Baravilala converted, bringing the Eagles within three of the champs at the interval. Territory and possession weren't the problem for the USA in the second half, they had plenty of both. But a loose ball in contact gave the Australians the chance they needed to close the game out and they made the most of it, scoring the clincher and holding the USA out for the remaining ticks on the clock.
For tomorrow's schedule and broadcast information, please visit http://bit.ly/EyeontheEaglesDubai7s
Tries: Baravilala(2), McGee, Bydwell, Folayan
Conversion: Le Duff
Tries: Van Harscamp, Van Altena
Conversions: Van Rossum