The Australian Women’s Sevens side have claimed Silver at the Commonwealth Games following an epic Final against New Zealand on Sunday.
The two great rivals were locked at 12-all at the end of regular time before an 80 metre effort from New Zealand well into extra-time sealed the Gold.
It was a remarkable display from Australia who, already without co-captain Sharni Williams, lost star playmaker Charlotte Caslick in the first-half after she was removed for a HIA test.
Australian Women’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh said: “We hate losing so we’re pretty disappointed. Everyone’s faces, we’re devastated and probably going ‘what if, what if’,” Walsh said.
“Just little things, not getting there, throwing the pass that shouldn’t. Mistakes do happen.
“But to be honest it was a top game for people to watch,” Walsh said.
Australia 33 defeated Canada 7
Canada had first use of the ball and took full advantage, Ghislaine Landry slicing the line from 60 metres out and sprinting away to score under the posts. The Canadians again pressed deep into the Australian 22 but a knock on eventually came and from the ensuing scrum Emilee Cherry split the line and ran 90 metres to score under the sticks. From the kickoff that followed Charlotte Caslick drew two defenders and put Emma Tonegato away for Australia’s second, opening up a 14-7 lead with 90 seconds to play in the first term.
That would be the score at the break and it was Tonegato that struck once again when play resumed, outgunning a Canadian defender on the left flank before scoring under the black dot. Tonegato had her hat trick with three to play, Caslick throwing a 15 metre cutout over the head of the final defender to put her in space. Caslick then split the line to put the final nail in the Canadian coffin.
Australia 12 defeated by New Zealand 17
Portia Woodman scored a trademark try to open the scoring, beating Evania Pelite down the left flank before stepping inside an attempted Charlotte Caslick tackle and running 70 metres to the line. Michaela Blyde followed suit, starving the Aussies of the ball and taking a 12-0 lead into the break.
Emma Tonegato was pulled down in the shadows of the line as Australia desperately looked for a response and after an overthrown lineout, Pelite picked the ball off and dished to Emilee Cherry, who scored. A loose Kiwi carry then turned into another Australian try, Ellia Green brushing a Blyde tackle en route to the line. But Emma Sykes missed the conversion and that left things poised at 12-all with one minute to play.
Extra time was a fitting end to this thriller. The two teams went end-to-end for the entirety of the five minute period but it was a 75 metre Kelly Brazier try which sealed the result.
Commonwealth Games results
Australian Women’s Sevens
Semi-Final: Australia 33–7 Canada
Gold Medal Final: Australia 12–17 New Zealand