Feb 26 • Australia, General News, International, National, Sevens Rugby, Sevens World Series • 97 Views • Comments Off on AUSTRALIAN WOMEN REMAIN TOP OF WORLD SERIES AFTER ROUND 4 IN VANCOUVER

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The Australian Women’s Sevens team have retained their position at the top of the HSBC SVNS world series standings after a tough fourth-place finish in Vancouver.

With the squad beset by injuries and suspensions throughout the fourth round of the season, the Aussie women fought hard, but ran out of juice against a gutsy home Canadian side in the bronze medal play-off.

The battle for bronze was a gritty affair, with the home side’s opening converted try cancelled out by a Madison Ashby try to send both sides into half-time locked up at 7-7.

After the break, Canada ran in for two tries to establish a 12-point lead and send the Vancouver fans into raptures.

Maddison Levi hit back when she flew down the left wing and scored under the posts to get the visitors back within five points – however, they were unable to overcome the Canadians, a dropped ball on the full-time siren consigning the series leaders to fourth place via a 14-19 defeat.

Earlier, Australia fell to France 19-21 in their Semi-Final, with Dominique Du Toit’s attempt to send the game to Golden Point drifting agonisingly wide after the full-time siren.

Du Toit’s wide conversion attempt came after Maddison Levi’s second try gave the Aussies a glimmer of hope, however it wasn’t to be, with France’s three converted tries seeing them through to the Final.

Australia now sits six points clear of Vancouver champions New Zealand at the top of the standings.

Australia Women’s Head Coach Tim Walsh: “We didn’t respect possession all tournament and that will always cost you in any ball sport.

“Our defence was solid and generally kept us in games – however it was not a polished performance by any stretch.

“It was good to be able to provide much-needed minutes to developing and returning players – forced and planned – building our combinations for Los Angeles and beyond.

“Tia Hinds, Bella Nasser, Kaitlin Shave, Lily Dick and Sidney Taylor will all benefit from the Vancouver experience.”

The Australian men went down to South Africa in an error-strewn performance in the ninth-place play-off.

Having made the last two Finals in Cape Town and Perth, Australia endured a tough first two days in Vancouver, failing to make it out of a difficult pool and through to the knock-out stage of the tournament.

The Aussies beat Spain to qualify for the ninth-place play-off against South Africa, and it was a tight contest in the initial stages, with Dietrich Roache’s third-minute converted try cancelling out South Africa’s opener.

From there, it was one-way traffic with three more unanswered tries to the Blitzboks seeing them claim ninth, and Australia drop from third to equal fifth in the standings.

Australia Men’s Head Coach John Manenti: “After a couple of good tournaments this was a timely reminder of how hard this competition is, and if you’re off you get punished.

“Our lack of respect for possession was our undoing – we created enough opportunities to win games.

“There’s going to be some serious soul-searching this week, and we’ll bounce high for Los Angeles.”

The Australian Sevens teams now travel south to Los Angeles for the fifth round of the HSBC SVNS world series on 1-3 March.

Every round of the HSBC SVNS series will be shown exclusive, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport.

Pool B
AUS 12 defeated JPN 10
AUS 26 defeated FJI 12
AUS 17 defeated USA 12 (Golden Point)
AUS 35 defeated FJI 19
AUS 19 defeated by FRA 21
Bronze Medal Match
AUS 14 defeated by CAN 19

Pool B
AUS 7 defeated by SAM 31
AUS 21 defeated by USA 26
AUS 5 defeated by FRA 31
9th Place Semi-Final
AUS 19 defeated ESP 14
9th Place Play-Off
AUS 7 defeated by RSA 24

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