LONDON, England - The Women’s Eagles Sevens squad defeated both Russia and Ireland to secure a place in the Cup Quarterfinals of the London Invitational Sevens.
The competition features eight teams divided into two pools, with day one’s action taking place at Cardinal Vaughan - located just outside the famous Twickenham Stadium. Should the Eagles advance into the Cup Semifinals and Cup Finals, they will play those exciting playoff matches inside Twickenham. Today’s attendance was a world record for a single day on the World Sevens Series, totaling 71,898.
On Sunday May 12, the Eagles face off against Spain at 4:00 A.M. ET in the Cup Quarterfinals.
USA vs Russia
Starting Seven: Jillion Potter, Vanesha McGee, Deven Owsiany, Sadie Anderson, Victoria Folayan, Christy Ringgenberg, Nathalie Marchino.
The Eagles’ first try of the game came from a perfectly timed counter-ruck, followed by two patients attacks, which stretched the Russian defense. Jillion Potter ran a hard line sucking in defenders as she deftly off-loaded to Christy Ringgenberg. The veteran found speedster Victoria Folayan on the wing, and she burned the defense to touch down the first points of the match. Sadie Anderson kicked a brilliant sideline conversion against the wind, putting the Eagles up 7-0.
Folayan was back in action following the restart with an excellent cover tackle and turn-over. She then managed to find space and make a break upfield, but was caught up in contact and unfortunately forced to leave the field with a suspected injury.
The Eagles maintained possession and used an excellent move from a center field scrum to set up their second try. Anderson - at scrumhalf - carved into open space, and delivered a pass to Deven Owsiany who dove over for the try. With time almost up, Russia answered managed five points from Rusiet Edidzhi.
Final Score: USA 12 Russia 5
USA vs Ireland
Starting Seven: Vanesha McGee, Sadie Anderson, Bui Baravilala, Victoria Folayan, Katie Dowty, Christy Ringgenberg, Nathalie Marchino.
Ireland began the match very strongly, and Jeannette Feighery capitalized scoring a well-worked try for her country. Niamh Briggs conversion was successful. Trailing 7-0, the Eagles looked to have bounced back, but Folayan accidentally dropped the ball as she was about to score in the narrow try zone.
The pressure continued and it was Briggs who added another try for Ireland, putting them up 14-0 at halftime.
Head Coach Ric Suggitt sparked his team into action, as the Eagles came back superbly using their patient attack platform. The gap opened up for Folayan, who had no issues touching this one down for the USA. Shortly thereafter, some great forward momentum from Bui Baravilala and Nathalie Marchino saw Folayan streak through for her second try of the match. With Kimber Rosier’s conversion, Ireland led 14-12.
The Eagles were extremely composed and began attacking from the restart. Katie Dowty and Ringgenberg unlocked the Irish defense, as Rosier burst through to score the winner for the Eagles.
USA 17 Ireland 14
USA vs Canada
Starting Seven: Jillion Potter, Deven Owsiany, Victoria Folayan, Emilie Bydwell, Katie Dowty, Christy Ringgenberg, Nathalie Marchino.
The North American rivalry returned with another hugely physical clash. Canada got on the scoreboard first with some hard running by Mandy Marchak. For the rest of the half it was a back-and-forth affair, with both teams putting everything into the contact point.
In the second period, Canada capitalized on one of the Eagles going down during a passage of play (Folayan), and with the overloaded defense put away Julianne Zussman in the corner. The conversion was missed, but Canada had a 10-0 lead with minutes remaining.
In the following minutes Eagles Captain Vanesha McGee replaced Folayan, and Emilie Bydwell and Potter put in some massive hits on defense--one of them resulting in a turn-over for the United States. Excellent ball movement saw McGee glide around the outside and score for the Eagles.
With just one play remaining in the game, an Eagles’ error saw the Canadians hack the ball into touch, holding on for a very narrow victory.
Final Score: USA 5 Canada 10
“We are really enjoying this event, and it’s been excellent for us to try a lot of different combinations. All three of our pool matches were extremely physical and I am proud of the girls for coming through with a playoff berth tomorrow,” said Head Coach Ric Suggitt.
The USA finished second in their pool behind Canada, and will face Spain in the Cup Quarterfinals at 4:00 A.M. ET Sunday, May 12 in the Cardinal Vaughan Stadium. The other Cup Quarterfinals are: Australia vs. Russia, England vs. Ireland, France vs. Canada.
The matches will be streamed live on www.rfu.com/womens7slive.
Check out behind the scenes videos from London 7s, presented by Gilbert Rugby.
Women’s Eagles Sevens | London Sevens
Women’s Eagles Sevens | Staff
Ric Suggitt (Head Coach)
Jo Anne Kos (Assistant Coach)
Nicole Titmas (Physio)
Dr. Lisa Bartoli (Doctor)
Peter Haberl (Psychologist)
Women’s Eagles Sevens | London Results
USA 12 Russia 5
USA 17 Ireland 14
USA 5 Canada 10
London Invitational Sevens
Pool A: England, Australia, France, Spain
Pool B: USA, Canada, Russia, Ireland
Women’s Eagles Sevens | London Schedule
vs. Spain – 4:00 A.M. ET Sunday, May 12