Women's Aussie 7s finish second in World Series
26 June 2017
RUGBY SEVENS: The Australian Women’s Sevens team has claimed the Clermont Ferrand silver medal and finished the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series in second position after victories against USA (31-14) and Canada (19-14) followed by a loss to New Zealand in the Cup Final (7-22) on the final day of the Clermont Ferrand Sevens in France.
On the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series ladder, the Australians finished the behind trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand and ahead of Canada - the same three teams who took out the medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
While the Australian team could not recreate the results of the past season, Head Coach Tim Walsh said both the tournament and the season overall gave him plenty to be positive about.
"I thought the first two matches were the best we performed all season," he said. "We showed some really good character especially in that game against Canada to come from behind and hold that composure and be ruthless and resilient."
"New Zealand have had an exceptional year and they finished it well. It certainly gives us motivation and desire to come back next year in what is a very big year with the Commonwealth Games and the World Cup. We're looking to be peaking for those events. We'll certainly be taking a lot out of this season.
"There are some good young players coming through which is great and bodes well for the future of Australian women's rugby, so we've got make sure we stay at the top and win those big events."
Australia 31 defeated USA 14
After losing the restart, the USA pounced on a loose ball and quickly found a hole in the Australian defence to go 7-0 up. Charlotte Caslick responded for the Australians with a mammoth effort to out-run the USA's Alev Kelter and level the scores. A fantastic two-try effort from Emilee Cherry followed which put the Australians up 19-7 at half time, but the gap narrowed to 19-14 in the second half after a try from USA's Ryan Carlyle. With three minutes to go, the Aussies recomposed and it was squad stalwarts Evania Pelite and Charlotte Caslick who crossed the tryline again to put the women in gold into the semi finals with a convincing 31-14 victory.
Australia 19 defeated Canada 14
After their recent 17-10 loss to the Canadians at Langford Sevens, the Australian team flew out of the blocks, patiently building phase after phase to put themselves into position for Evania Pelite to snatch the first try in the fourth minute, which was converted by Chloe Dalton. An undeterred Canada responded with two try tries from Julia Greenshields and Brittany Benn using their pace to put themselves ahead 7-14 at half time. In the second half, Chloe Dalton led by example scoring a try to level the score at 14-14 with four minutes to go. She followed it up two minutes later by finishing off an incredible team try to secure the match-winner and send the Aussies into the Cup Final with a 19-14 victory.
Australia 7 were defeated by New Zealand 22
In the Australians' third Cup Final appearance of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series, the Series-leading Kiwis scored first through Ruby Tui after a flying run from Alena Saili. A bout of Australian possession followed, and it was eventually co-captain Shannon Parry who crashed through two defenders to score under the posts for Dalton to convert. New Zealand scored again in the final minute, leaving the score at 7-12 at half time. After the break, New Zealand's Michaela Blyde scored her 40th try of the Series in the corner and the Kiwis continued to pressure the Australians. The Aussie 7s' scrambling defence held strong until the final minute where they couldn't keep out Shakira Baker. The Kiwis ended deserved winners, taking the Cup Final with a 7-22 victory.
Australian Rugby Union