The finals of the HSBC Womens Sevens Series in Sydney saw plenty of upsets and shocks on Day Two. Canada Women’s Sevens team claimed the tournament with victory over Team USA in the final, but it was the semi-finals matches where both those sides truly showed their credentials.
The homecoming Australian women were unable to add a Sydney 7’s title to their already impressive list of achievements, while New Zealand were tripped up in their chase for the title.
Sydney 7’s Showcasing the Women’s Game
On a massive day for women’s sport in Australia (with the first pro Women’s AFL game played in Melbourne), Day One of the Sydney 7’s saw phenomenal play on show. New Zealand, the USA and Australia dominated proceedings on the opening day [Friday] with 100% finishes in their Pool stages.
So far, the tournament was going all to script, but the North American sides had other ideas on Day Two.
Demoted from the Allianz Field, but Women’s Quality Shines Through
Due to a scheduling issue, the Women’s quarter finals of the Sydney 7’s were played outside of the main stadium, onto the outer Kippax field. This did not hamper any of the big guns though as Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada all advanced with ease.
Continuing their sparkling form, as the knockout stages loomed ever closer. Pressure continued to build on the home side, yet outwardly they appeared to be thriving on it. Wins over key rivals Fijiana, gave fans high hopes that the ‘Golden Girls’ would go far on Day Two.
— Aussie 7s (@Aussie7s) February 3, 2017
Crucial Errors Cost the Golden Girls
Team USA opened up the incredible semi-finals matches, as they shocked the Sevens Series leaders, New Zealand. They pushed the Kiwis all the way, leading at halftime and ultimately had just enough to claim a 19-12 victory to send ‘shock waves’ through the tournament. That giant slaying by the US Women may well have been playing on the minds of the Olympic Gold Medalists Australia, as they faced Canada next.
In a battle worthy of a final, the Canadian girls contained the Australians on, and off the field. Each team gave their all, as the Maple Leafs battled to a 12-7 win.
Canada Women’s Sevens Embrace the Sydney Party Atmosphere
With the two top sides now out of the final, Canada and Team USA had an incredible opportunity to make their mark on the World Series. With neither side willing to take a backwards step, this turned into a brutal encounter.
The Canadians performances continued to improve as Day Two progressed, and showed some of their best rugby in the second half of the final. They thoroughly deserved the narrow 21-17 victory.
Your women’s Dream Team for the #Sydney7s
Who would you have chosen? pic.twitter.com/Fww9twrFv4
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) 4 February 2017
Head coach John Wait was clearly elated for his team. “I’m just really happy for the girls, to rebound after our first tournament in Dubai”, Tait said–referring to the opening round 2016/17 season. Asked ‘what he was impressed with most?’ the coach replied “the defense. Jen Kish (see above) played a great game in the contact area, and retained a lot of ball today. Some of the younger girls like Hannah Darling, who really stepped up.”
Home Town Blues for Aussie 7’s Hosts
Things got even worse for the Australian women, as they went down to New Zealand 19-0 in the 3rd/4th playoff. A string of errors summed up a disappointing second day of the Sydney 7’s for a side who would have hoped for much better.
Competing in the inaugural Women’s tournament in Sydney. Australian head coach Tim Walsh reflected on the girls efforts over the two days;
“We haven’t really played well this tournament. We had glimpses of what we are good at but it’s not enough in a World Series.”
With plenty of action still to come in the Men’s Day Two from Sydney be sure to stay with Last Word on Rugby.
“Main Photo Credit”