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Australia, South Africa strike sevens gold

19 January 2013

RUGBY SEVENS: Rugby sevens wowed fans in its first foray onto the Olympic program at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).

Talented youngsters lit the field alight for two days of tense competition, setting up two mouth-watering clashes in the race for gold.

The Australian women charged into the finals undefeated and put on a faultless display of women’s rugby to overcome China.

Their Chinese opponents were outpaced by the fleet-footed Aussies, with intercepts and deft passes delivering the Australians an unassailable 26-0 lead by half-time.

The Australians wrapped up the game 40-0 in front of an elated home crowd.

It is well-acknowledged this U17’s side is bursting with talent and many of these players are on the road to Rio 2016 where rugby sevens will make its debut.

Their first international outing as a team proved a real statement to the world of what Australia is capable of in the newest Olympic format. The gold is a testament to the pride and determination these girls put into the AYOF campaign.

In the men’s gold medal match Australia faced South Africa, the only side to defeat them in the earlier pool matches.

An early try to South Africa put the Aussies on the back foot and the home-side suffered a blow just before half-time when South Africa scored again to blow the score out to 12-0.

Determined to lift in front of the home crowd, the Australians left everything on the pitch but came out short against a tough, fast South African outfit 22-7.

In earlier matches Tonga overcame Japan 26-0 to take the men’s bronze medal and China won the women’s bronze medal over South Africa 27-0.

Taya Conomos

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