VICTORIA, British Columbia – Lauren Doyle and Victoria Folayan combined for five tries in the Women’s Eagles Sevens’ 29-10 Plate Semifinal victory against Australia at Canada Women’s Sevens Sunday.
The win sets up a rematch with tournament host Canada in the Plate Final at Westhills Stadium, which will be streamed live on World Rugby’s website at 7:28 p.m. ET.
Following a disappointing loss in which they were unable to find France’s half let alone the try zone, the Eagles played a positive, quick game to storm out to an early lead. Australia held possession from the kickoff, but strong work in the tackle by Megan Bonny forced the ball to dribble into Australia’s half. The Aussies kicked possession away, though a mishandled pass handed the Eagles’ opponent possession again.
Alev Kelter turned the ball over in the breakdown in the second minute and Folayan charged down the field through a gap. Doyle put herself in the right position to accept a no-look offload and dotted down for a 5-0 lead.
Australia took a penalty in the fourth minute and it took just a few seconds for Folayan to reach the try line for a 10-0 lead. Ellie Green’s attempted response for Australia, a long run towards the corner of the try zone, was stopped by Bonny and Kelter, who put the ball back in the Eagles’ hands.
Doyle took the seventh-minute quick tap just outside her own try line and Folayan broke free along the wing to bring the Eagles into Australia’s half. The U.S. held the ball through phases and it eventually fell to Doyle for a 15-0 lead at the half.
Australia’s Sunday also got off to a shaky start with a Cup Quarterfinal loss to Russia, but the Eagles showed more determination to advance to the Plate Final. In the first minute of the second half, Kathryn Johnson corralled the restart for the U.S. Folayan received the ball on the wing, shrugged off Green with a step inside, and stayed out of Charlotte Caslick’s tackle for her second try of the match and a 22-0 lead.
The Eagles kept Australia dormant in the following minutes, and Bonny nearly got on the scoreboard herself with an individual run towards the try line. She was stopped five meters short, but her teammates rushed to support. Irene Gardner ran at the posts and offloaded to Folayan in the tackle for the Eagle’s hat trick and 29-0 lead.
Green managed to pull one back for Australia with a run down the touch line, beating Bui Baravilala and Folayan in the process, while Caslick took advantage of a wide defense following the horn to bring the final score to 29-10.
The Eagles will once again face Canada at the neighbor’s home tournament after an enthralling, 19-15, pool match Saturday. The Plate Final at Westhills Stadium kicks off at 7:28 p.m. ET.
Women’s Eagles Sevens | v. Australia
1. Kathryn Johnson
2. Kelly Griffin
3. Megan Bonny
4. Alev Kelter
5. Akalaini Baravilala
6. Lauren Doyle
7. Victoria Folayan
8. Joanne Fa’avesi
9. Irene Gardner
10. Melissa Fowler
11. Kate Zackary
12. Kristen Thomas
Australia | v. USA
1. Shannon Parry
2. Sharni Williams
3. Tiana Penitani
4. Gemma Etheridge
5. Emma Tonegato
6. Nikki Etheridge
7. Charlotte Caslick
8. Chloe Dalton
9. Amy Turner
10. Alicia Quirk
11. Nicole Beck
12. Ellia Green
Women’s Eagles Sevens | 29
Tries: Doyle (2), Folayan (3)
Conversions: Kelter, Baravilala
Australia | 10
Tries: Green, Caslick
Women’s Eagles Sevens | Canada Women’s Sevens
v. South Africa – W 40-5
v. Russia – W 17-14
v. Canada – L 19-15
Cup Quarterfinal v France – L 17-0
Plate Semifinal v Australia – W 29-10
Plate Final v Canada – Sunday, April 19 – 7:28 p.m. ET