The USA Eagles Women’s Sevens have been crowned champions at Quest for Gold Sevens. Sweeping the tournament against Jamaica and Great Britain to take the win.
USA Rugby was more than happy with the ladies performance after a 2-0 start yesterday, the Eagles Sevens played Team GB three times to maximize preparation against a fellow Olympic opponent. Every game was a display of athleticism as the USA Women used firepower all over the field to perfect their own attacking strategy.
Youngster Ariana Ramsey went down in the first match with an injury but returned to the squad following evaluation from medical personnel. Though she was out for the rest of the day, Ramsey is recovering well and looks ahead to preparing for Tokyo.
The USA side continues to define its unique playing style — employing nearly every player on the field to play a specific role in moving the ball around. Speed, physicality and support play are three key themes that continue to emerge.
In the first match, the USA did well to build space on the wing for Naya Tapper to score a hat trick with three dazzling runs. In the second, an incredible display by Kelter saw the Eagle dummy around defenders to create a gap for Ilona Maher. After a line break by Maher, Kelter came right back to the breakdown to recycle the ball to Kayla Canett who scored within seconds. Kristi Kirshe, Abby Gustaitis and Kasey McCravey combined for a brilliant team effort, each adding to a series of runs that kept the USA on top of Team GB.
In the end, GB made some strong, defensive efforts that added new intensity to the final match. After an opening try by Nana Fa’avesi, Great Britain took the lead and held it until Kristi Kirshe came in with a heroic run to end in a draw.
“We started strong against Jamaica and then just built into four matches against a strong Great Britain side. They’re no slouches in any capacity. Just really proud of the effort the girls put in, the resilience, the fight — right down to that last minute try to tie it up.” said co-captain Abby Gustaitis,
“We’re going home with the gold and just focusing on our game plan. We’ve got four weeks of hard training at home before Tokyo and then eyes on that gold medal.”
The USA Women’s Sevens will have a few days break before resuming training for Tokyo. Departing in mid-July, the squad will spend its first week in Mimasaka before entering the host-city ahead of the Opening Ceremony.