Australia falls in USA Sevens Final
The Australian Women’s Sevens team has finished in second place at the USA7s, falling to New Zealand 5-28 in the Women’s Cup Final.
Australia started the day on a winning note, defeating a strong Fiji side in the Quarter Finals before knocking off Canada to earn a spot in the Cup Final. However New Zealand’s form was too much for the defending series champions, with Australia left to rue missed opportunities.
Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “We are very disappointed to finish the way we did. Credit to New Zealand, they played a detailed, mistake free game and deserved their victory.
“We have stepped up our game from Sydney and Dubai. I’m looking forward to see what the rest of the season has to offer and really finish the season strongly. Our destiny is still in our hands, so we’ll see how everyone pulls up and look at how we approach the next few tournaments.
“Mahalia Murphy scored a fantastic try. She does everything with such intent and has a real aggressive streak which is awesome. I have been really impressed with Mahalia and I think we’ll see more of her at the next few tournaments.”
Australia now sit second on the rankings, ahead of the inaugural Kitakyushu Women’s World Series event in Japan in late April.
Quarter Final: Australia 22 defeated Fiji 7
It was good news for Australia prior to kick-off with Chloe Dalton cleared to play despite a neck injury scare in the last game of Day One.
Fiji were brutal at the breakdown and took an early lead before Charlotte Caslick showed her class to send Emma Tonegato away. A try to Emilee Cherry gave Australia a five-point lead at the break before she added another early in the second half. Tonegato then wrapped up the scoring to ensure a big win and progression into the Cup Semi-Final to face Canada.
Semi Final: Australia 26 defeated Canada 17
Canada enjoyed a bright start in the Cup Semi-Final as they opened the scoring but Ellia Green was able to hit right back, as she sped down the right wing to level the scores. Evania Pelite then combined with Green to send the latter away again to give Australia a 12-5 lead at the break.
Two Emma Tonegato’s tries in the second half gave Australia a comfortable margin as Canada managed to close the gap on full-time.
Cup Final: Australia 5 were defeated by New Zealand 28
Australia started the match strongly moving the ball from side to side and earned the first penalty of the match when New Zealand infringed at the breakdown. The first points of the match came in the fifth minute when New Zealand capitalised on missed tackles to take a 0-7 lead. Tyla Nathan-Wong added more pain for the Aussie 7s, finding space in the middle of the field to run untouched to score and give the Black Ferns a 0-14 advantage at the break.
New Zealand continued to mount the pressure on Australia in the second half and were the first to strike again with Portia Woodman scoring off a scintillating run. Costly errors continued to hurt the women in gold who failed to create any consistent pressure against their Trans-Tasman rivals. Mahalia Murphy created a moment of brilliance late on for Australia, running 70 metres and fending off three New Zealand defenders to power her way over the try line to get Australia’s only score.
Women’s World Rugby Sevens Series Standings (after three rounds):
1. New Zealand (56 points) 2. Australia (50 points) 3. Canada (46 points) 4. Fiji (36 points)
5. Russia (34 points) 6. USA (34 points) 7. France (26 points) 8. England (20 points)
News Source: ARU Media