The championship was decided before the final match. It was with a last-minute try from Emilee Cherry in the Paris Sevens Cup semi-finals on June 9, the Australian Sevens women’s side became 2017/18 HSBC Women’s Sevens title holders.
The 21-17 win over France propelled Australia to the final match against HSBC Women’s Series title opponents New Zealand. Although they were defeated by the Kiwis 33-7, Australia were still crowned the series title – because the Black Ferns Sevens couldn’t catch up in the title standings overall.
Australia takes home HSBC Women’s Sevens title
“It’s definitely up there, to be honest,” Aussie co-captain Shannon Parry told rugby.com.au, when asked how this title compares to others in her career. “There was obviously a lot of pressure coming into that match [against France].
“Obviously, we just got through to the Cup final and to then win it pretty much in on the last play [against France] was a fantastic gift from the girls.”
“We’ve had a really solid five games here. I think I’ve personally never played in a more physical tournament.”
Tightly-contested matches lead to HSBC title and more
Parry’s thoughts on the Paris tournament certainly have some rationale. Australia won several hard-fought matches in the tournament, including Fiji, where they won 22-19 in the quarter finals.
After Paris, Charlotte Caslick had even more than just the series title to celebrate. She earned the DHL Impact Player award for the tournament. Caslick racked up 35 carries, 32 tackles, 4 breaks and an offload – a total of 72 points.
32 tackles 😲
35 carries 😲
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 10, 2018
“I’m so proud of the girls, that was an awesome effort and congratulations to New Zealand on an awesome final,” Caslick told worldrugby.org. “We didn’t have enough to win it but that experience gained will be vital going in the World Cup in July.”
A look back on Australia’s 2017/18 HSBC Women’s Sevens Series
Australia tallied 92 points across the series, followed closely by New Zealand at 90. Such a slim margin, the final tournament hung in the balance until Australia clinched the Cup final place. The next closest squad was France, at 68 points.
The champions placed in every tournament of the series. Australia took gold in Dubai and their home event; the Sydney Sevens, early on. They received bronze in Kitakyushu. They finished the series with two second place finishes, in Langford and the series clincher Paris.
Throughout the series, Australia were always performing on the field. As a team, the Aussie girls finished second for most points scored (784). New Zealand were first, with a massive 945 points scored. But individually, many of the Australian women performed fantastically.
Emily Cherry’s performance put her at third all time for most points scored at 704. Only New Zealand’s Portia Woodman (925 points) – who also received the top try-scorer award this series – and Canada’s Ghislaine Landry (984 points), are above Cherry for all time points.
The winners of the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series now prepare for a bigger challenge.
Australia’s women’s sevens will face Papua New Guinea next month on July 20, at AT&T Park in San Francisco. They will be competing at the Rugby World Cup Sevens tournament.
The biggest event on the rugby sevens circuit, the 16 women’s teams will bring a challenge, to the reigning Olympic gold medallists. It will certainly make for a great year in women’s rugby.
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