Australia crowned 2018 Sevens World Series Champions
11 June 2018
RUGBY SEVENS: The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team has gone down to New Zealand in the Cup Final of the HSBC Paris Sevens (33-7).
The second-place finish in Paris, has ensured that Australia has won the overall battle for the Series Championship on 92 points. In a photo finish over five tournaments, New Zealand fell short on 90 points with France in third on 68 points.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach John Manenti said: “It was a tough game for the Final, we were at the end of a really long stretch with a couple more injuries overnight but certainly the girls recognise the World Series win and really well deserved given the tough year that it’s been and the competition we’ve got around us.
“We finished no less than third in any tournament, I’m very proud of the whole group and how hard they’ve worked to get where we did and get the job done last night.”
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Co-Captain Charlotte Caslick said: “We got so much experience out of that game, we had some girls out there and get something that you don’t get from sitting on the bench so that’ll be invaluable moving forward for our squad.
“We can really pride ourselves on the consistency we’ve had this year, we lost a few big names throughout the season, had a coaching change but the girls all stuck strong and we gained a lot of experience throughout the season.”
The opening kick-off was knocked on by New Zealand but was missed by the match officials which allowed Michaela Blyde to score the opening try.
Both sides had players sent to the bin in the minutes that followed and New Zealand captain Sarah Goss took full advantage of the extra space, splitting the Australians up the middle to score her side's second.
Blyde then drew two defenders and put Portia Woodman away for New Zealand's third before Gayle Broughton picked off a pass in the Australian 22 in the final play of the first half, offloading to give Blyde her second and send the Kiwis into the break leading 26-0.
An exhausting second half followed, neither side able to break the deadlock as New Zealand tried to run the clock dead.
It took a slick Charlotte Caslick break to put Vani Pelite over, Woodman nabbing a double to put the icing on the cake for the Kiwis.
Caslick, Pelite and Shannon Parry all put in efforts in defence and matched the physicality of New Zealand as the Aussies fought hard.
Meanwhile, the Australian Men's Sevens side have finished fourth in the 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, despite a disappointing 11th place result at the Paris Sevens.
The side claiming three podium finishes throughout the 10-leg series, bronze in Hamilton, silver in Singapore and the highlight of the season, gold in front of their home crowd in Sydney at the HSBC Sydney 7s.
Both teams will return home and continue preparation for the Sevens Rugby World Cup which kicks off in July in San Francisco.