Australia take third at Kitakyushu Sevens
23 April 2017
RUGBY: The Australian Women’s Sevens side has finished the Kitakyushu Sevens in Japan in third place with a thrilling 19-17 come from behind victory against Fiji.
Australia was without Ellia Green, Evania Pelite and Emilee Cherry for the final match of the day with all three players sustaining injuries that prevented their further participation in the tournament.
Earlier in the day Australia had come from behind to defeat France (19-12) in the Quarter Finals but fell to a Canada (0-33) in the Semi Final that moved the Aussie 7s into the battle for third.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “When we won the gold in Rio we looked back at the defining moments that got us there and I think in 2020, this tournament could be one of those moments, where the true spirit of what this team is all about was displayed in that last game.
“To come from behind and beat Fiji the way we did was a credit to the character of the team and how much they wanted the win.
“Our younger players really stood up and it was good way to finish the tournament with the win over Fiji but they still have a long way to go. There is just some technical things they need to do under pressure; the signs are good moving forward.
“On day two though the reality is that we weren’t good enough, especially against Canada.
“We have a lot of work to do and I’m looking forward to round five now.”
Australia now sit in second position on the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series ladder on 66 points, trailing New Zealand on 76 points but leading Canada on 64 points.
Australia 19 defeated France 12 (quarter final)
Australia were struck down with injuries in the opening minute with Ellia Green and Evania Pelite both falling in the heavy contact of the opening phases. The Aussie7s defended valiantly holding out wave after wave of attack but eventually the pressure was too much with France taking a 0-5 lead. Australia fought hard to gain momentum in the Quarter Final with Chloe Dalton creating space for her Captain Shannon Parry to slice through the defence and score underneath the posts just before the break.
The second half saw France reduced to five women from cynical infringements, creating space for Emilee Cherry to score back to back tries and her 100th try for Australia as the Aussie 7s took a 19-5 lead. A late surge by France narrowed the gap to 19-12 as the French resistance refused to give way. Australia were patient in the closing phases to ensure that they won the match and progressed to the Semi Finals.
Australia 0 were defeated by Canada 33 (semi final)
An injury ravaged Australia were without Evania Pelite and Ellia Green for this Semi Final clash and the clinical Canadians were in no mood for error. Canada opened the scoring early taking a 0-7 lead. The women in red continued to ask questions of Australia’s defence and extended the lead to 0-12 with their second try where the score would remain at half time.
The Aussie 7s struggled to get a hold of the ball as Canada continued their dominant performance. A mistake off the back of a scrum from Georgia Friedrichs put more pressure on the women in gold allowing Canada to steal a try and move to 0-19. A fourth try to Canada off a set move from a lineout buried any hope of an Australian comeback as they put on a masterclass of attacking Rugby. Canada sealed their domination with a final try as they won the Semi Final 0-33.
Australia 19 defeated Fiji 17 (third place play off)
The match was frenetic in the opening phases with Fiji sensing an opportunity to claim their first ever victory over Australia on the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series. The Aussie 7s held their own against Fiji and attacked their line despite being down on troops, however it was Fiji who struck first scoring underneath the posts despite a herculean effort in defence by Charlotte Caslick to prevent the try. Australia were unable to clear their red zone allowing Fiji to take a 0-12 lead at the break with their second try.
Australia shot out of the blocks in the second half with Dom Du Toit timing her run onto a looping cut out pass from Charlotte Caslick perfectly to score next to the posts and narrow the gap from 7-12. Both sides traded tries as Emma Sykes scored for Australia to take the score to 14-17. With Australia trailing by three it was Chloe Dalton who found the match winner putting on the after burners to score in the corner to take a 19-17 lead.
Australian Rugby Union