rugby.com.au and James Mortimer 07.Oct.2013
It was a tough tournament for the Kiwi 'sisters', losing to Australia during the pool stages, before the threat of a fightback against Fiji in the playoffs - with New Zealand trailing 0-12 at halftime - was to no avail as the Pacific Islanders eventually won 17-10.
In the end it was the Australian Women’s Sevens has come away champions after six straight wins, with the side conceding only 22 points across the tournament.
Women’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh was satisfied with the victory on his debut outing.
“The girls worked hard for the win with a strong squad performance, supported by a professional approach, with all 12 players contributing to the final result.
“Despite the win, there are still things to work on ahead of the opening of the IRB World Series later this year.
“This tournament highlighted for me that Fiji is definitely one to watch in the future, with their entertaining style that the country is known for.”
The two-day tournament, held as part of the Noosa International Sevens festival, saw the powerhouses of the region come together for the opening tournament of the season.
Day 1 saw Australia start strongly holding Fiji to nil winning 26 - 0, setting up a great platform for the games ahead.
Next came defending tournament champions New Zealand, expected to be the toughest side of the tournament. The World Series and World Cup champions played a strong game however the Australians gave a clinical performance, coming away victors 19 – 7.
The third match win over Papua New Guinea 48 – 0 all but confirmed Australia’s top of pool position for Day 1, with the team’s dominant ball possession starving PNG of the ball and any chance of scoring.
Australia’s final game of the day saw the team ruthless in both attack and defence against Samoa, to seal an emphatic 40 – 5 victory ahead of finals day.
A scorching start to Day 2 and the Australians entered the semi-final with a level of confidence. The girls performed clinically and professionally in this must-win match and came up with a well-deserved 30 – 0 win against a very physical Samoan team.
Facing Fiji, who overcame New Zealand to reach the final, the team put their hours of training into practice. Despite big hits and great changes of speed in what was an entertaining display by the opposition, a quartet of tries from Ellia Green and great team execution ensured the Australians came home with the silverware 22 - 10.