Aussie Women finish fourth at Sydney 7s

Saturday February 4, 2017

The Australian Women’s Sevens team has finished in fourth at the Sydney 7s after falling in the Semi Finals to arch rivals Canada and New Zealand in the Third Placed Playoff.

Australia started the day on a winning note, defeating a strong Fiji side in the Quarter Finals but some handling errors and missed opportunities cost the home side in front of a capacity Allianz Stadium crowd.

Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach,Tim Walsh lamented his team’s missed opportunity after the semi-final loss to Canada: “It was a devastating way to finish. It was a fantastic atmosphere to perform today. We gave it everything but it wasn’t good enough. We made some crucial errors and got punished for it.

“We haven’t really played well this tournament. We had glimpses of what we are good at but it’s not enough in a World Series.

“The girls play some incredible Rugby. They are going to make some mistakes and that’s life. You’re not going to win all the time, as much as we’d like to. We’ve got to maintain that consistency to stay at the top. They’ll take some growth out of (the loss).”

The Aussie women will get their next opportunity in the inaugural Las Vegas Women’s World Series event in early March.

Quarter Final: Australia 17 defeated Fiji 5
It was a fierce Pool B rematch between Australia and Fiji in the second Quarter Final on Kippax Field. Fiji’s defence was up to the challenge and it took multiple phases for Australia to eventually unleash Ellia Green to score in the corner. The Aussies held the 5-0 advantage into the break.

Australia came out guns blazing in the second half in what continued as a physical contest with Fiji taking it to their more fancied apponents. Charlotte Caslick eventually broke the stalemate, finishing off some slick ball movement with a try out wide to take the score to 10-0.

Emilee Cherry was a stand out in defence, making two key try-saving tackles in a within a minute as the Fijians peppered the Australian line. Eventually the pressure told and Fiji brought the match within reach with a try near the posts to take the score to 10-5. With a place in the Semi Finals on the line, Co-Captain Sharni Williams made the decisive play, breaking through the Fiji line before slicing inside to score.

Semi Final: Australia 7 were defeated by Canada 12
With the shock upset of New Zealand falling to the USA in the first Semi Final, the Aussies weren’t taking any chances against fierce rivals Canada. After regathering the opening kick off Australia got away to a fast start when Charlotte Caslick gifted the perfect ball to a barnstorming Ellia Green to cross in the opening minute.

Canada countered quickly with a breakaway try to close the gap to two points midway through the half. Both sides traded heavy blows but it was Canada who was able to capitalise and score on the cusp of the interval taking the score to 7-12.

In an intense second half battle which was punctuated by some uncharacteristic skill errors by the Australians, neither side was able to trouble the scorers. A penalty against skipper Sharni Williams for an attempted pilfer in the final seconds put a full stop on a frustrating outing for the home team in front of a capacity crowd.

Third Place Final: Australia 0 were defeated by New Zealand 19
It wasn’t the clash the Allianz Stadium crowd was expecting for third place, but even without the main prize on the line there was no love lost in the opening exchanges. As the seconds counted down to the half time whistle, New Zealand were able to find the gap in the defence out wide to register first points.

A second half try to Portia Woodman extended the New Zealanders lead to 0-12 as the Aussie 7s again battled to stay in the contest with crucial errors in attack. The visitors put it beyond doubt with a third try in the final minute of the match to round off a 19-0 victory.

Canada won the inaugural Sydney 7s Women’s event with a 21-17 victory over the USA. The Australian Women’s Sevens team remain in second place in the World Rugby Sevens Series Standings behind New Zealand.

HSBC Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series Standings (after two rounds):
1. New Zealand 36 points 2. Australia 32 points 3. Canada 30 points 4. Fiji 24 points 5. Russia 24 points 6. USA 20 points 7. France 18 points 8. England 17 points 9. Ireland 10 points

News Source: ARU Media