The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens side has finished the Canada Sevens in third place with a strong 26-12 victory over France in the Third Place Play-Off securing the Bronze Medal.
Australia was left to lament a tight 10-17 defeat against hosts Canada in a thrilling Semi-Final that saw the hosts hold back a late surging Aussie 7s in front of their home crowd.
Emilee Cherry was the star for Australia on day two, scoring a hat-trick of tries well supported by Cassie Staples who added to her brace of tries on day one with a hat-trick of her own in the Finals.
The result leaves New Zealand clear of the pack on the HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series ladder with a photo finish between Australia and Canada in the battle for second at the final tournament in Clermont-Ferrand next month.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “It was disappointing we didn’t get there, day two is always tough.
“We had our chances against Canada, in parts we played really well but our last little efforts let us down.
“If we scored two tries I can think of, it would have been a different game, but that’s the difference between winning and losing in Sevens and our young players will take a lot out of that. Canada played well and full credit to them for closing it out.
“We want to finish on a high in Clermont. First place is looking very unlikely but we have to battle for second, so we’ll finish strong and make sure we get that position.”
Quarter Final Australia 22 defeated USA 10
The USA were the first to strike in this Quarter Final clash as the USA moved the ball well to put over Tapper for a try in the first two minutes of the match. Australia worked hard and looked to maintain possession and were eventually rewarded when Emilee Cherry burst through the line to give the Aussie 7s a 7-5 lead. As the clock counted down the women in gold continued to ask questions of the USA defence and eventually, Chloe Dalton found a gap and scored in the corner to give Australia a 12-5 advantage at the break.
The second half saw a much more committed defensive effort by the USA as Australia looked to take control of the game. Emilee Cherry showed her class as the Australian backs moved the ball well to Cherry who scored in the corner. With the match in the Aussie 7s hands, Australia showed their patience to secure the victory through Demi Hayes who powered her way over the line to score and take the Aussie 7s advantage to 22-5. A late consolation try to the USA brought the score to 22-10 but the women in gold had done enough to secure a Semi Final berth.
Semi Final Australia 10 were defeated by Canada 17
Australia had a shaky start as they were put under pressure at the breakdown from the home side. Some good hands by Chloe Dalton and Charlotte Caslick lead the Aussie 7s into Canada’s red zone where Sharni Williams used her strength to power her way through for the first try. With the home crowd edging them on Canada used their pressure to maintain possession with Laundry scoring an equaliser try to level the scores at 5-5. A mistake off the kick off by the Aussie 7s allowed the Canadians to regather the ball and score a second try taking a 5-10 lead at the break.
The Aussie 7s worked hard and had the opportunity to level the scores but some unfortunate last touches cost Australia the opportunity to score. Canada brought on their speedster in Charity Williams who found herself in space and scored underneath the posts to give Canada a 5-17 lead. With time running out, the Aussie 7s continued to chase the match and scored late through Cassie Staples off an aggressive run by Sharni Williams to bring the difference to within 7 points (10-17). As the siren sounded, Australia could not regather the ball off the kick off leaving Canada to progress to the Cup Final.
Third Place Play Off Australia 26 defeated France 12
Australia was under pressure from France in the opening minutes with a handling error in the red zone allowing France to turn over the ball and score the first try through Fanny Horta to give the French a 0-7 lead. Some brilliant passing by Chloe Dalton, Charlotte Caslick and Emilee Cherry allowed the Aussie 7s to make 70 metres and put Cassie Staples over the try line to level the scores at 7-7. The new find for the Aussie 7s (Staples) was again the beneficiary of some excellent attacking play as she crossed for her second try in the corner to take Australia’s lead to 12-7.
France bolted out of the gates in the second half, moving the Australian defence from left to right and despite some excellent tackling eventually found a gap to level the scores at 12-12. Australia remained patient as they worked their way into the half and some good ball movement allowing Sharni Williams to break through the line to offload to a barnstorming Emilee Cherry who gave Australia the lead again. A brilliant individual effort by Chloe Dalton who powered her way out of two tackles and ran 50 metres to score brought the Aussie 7s lead to 26-12 on the cusp of full time.
Canada Sevens, Day Two results:
Australia 22-10 USA (Quarter Final)
Australia 10-17 Canada (Semi Final)
Australia 26-12 France (Third Place Play Off)
HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series Ladder:
1. New Zealand 96 pts 2. Canada 82 pts 3. Australia 82 pts 4. Russia 58 pts 5. Fiji 54 pts 6. USA 52 pts 7. France 46 pts 8. England 36 pts