Joanne Fa'avesi

Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Rugby: Team USA finishes impressive debut with 19-5 win over France

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Second half tries from Alev Kelter, Jessica Javelet, and Joanna Fa’avesi completed Team USA women’s rugby sevens tremendous Olympic debut with a 19-5 win and fifth place finish at the Rio Olympics.

France controlled the first half but couldn’t break the U.S. line-up until the final 60 seconds, when it went ahead on a try around the right end. The conversion failed, and halftime saw a 5-0 deficit for the Americans.

The Yanks advanced to the quarterfinals after a 1-1-1 group run, but fell to New Zealand 5-0 in their first knockout round game.

Moved into the fifth-eighth bracket for placing, USA avenged a 12-7 loss to Fiji in group play by reversing the score in placing.

Spain lost to France, and ended up facing Fiji in the seventh place game. Spain won.

Still to come: the bronze medal game between Canada and Great Britain, and women’s rugby’s first gold medal match: Australia and New Zealand.