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Australia wins Dubai Sevens to kick start massive year of Sevens in style

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The Australian Women’s Sevens team has won the first leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Dubai, defeating the USA in the Cup Final 34-0.

Australia accounted for England (29-12) and Canada (25-7) in the Quarter Finals and Semi Finals respectively before putting on a clinical display in the Final, out gunning the Americans six tries to zero.

The win puts Australia on top of the HSBC Sevens World Series Ladder on 20 points, with USA (18), Russia (16), Canada (14) and New Zealand (12) in hot pursuit.

The second leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series is the HSBC Sydney 7s which will kick start a massive Australia Day Long Weekend of Sevens Rugby as the Aussie Women’s Sevens look to defend their home turf.

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “Really pleased, as everyone knows the Finals day is the important day. To see the team, improve game upon game was exceptional.

“To beat a very good Canadian team and to go and blow away the USA in the Final was very pleasing and there were some outstanding performances.

“Everyone banded together and put into practice what we have been working on over the last few months.

“We had a really good lead into the tournament with the Aon Sevens Series, Central Coast Sevens and the games against New Zealand. We stuck to our guns about what we wanted to achieve and peaked at the right time.

“It’s always great to get a win but It just starts again. Sydney is just a whole new tournament, we’re not going to get ahead of ourselves. We’ll get back home, into training as hard as we have been to make sure we attack Sydney in the best possible position.”

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Co-Captain, Sharni Williams said: “We are absolutely ecstatic! The girls have put in so much hard work. Our preparation was definitely key.

“Having that off season has really been massive. You have to hurt to achieve this and the girls did to get to this moment and it’s really sweet.

“It is (winning the first leg) crucial for confidence and crucial for building as well. It’s really good to get that win up and we are really excited about it.”

Evani Pelite was named player of the tournament for her efforts across the two days with Emma Tonegato named player of the Final.

Quarter Final Australia 29 defeated England 12

The Aussie Women’s Sevens started their re-match against England well, with Tonegato crossing for a try in the opening minute to shake off any Quarter Final nerves. England though quickly struck back through Amy Wilson Hardy who levelled the scores at 5-5. Australia continued to build into the match with Emma Sykes and Evania Pelite both scoring before the break to take the scoreboard to 17-5.

The words from Head Coach Tim Walsh was to continue to build at the break and the Aussie 7s did just that scoring through Dom Du Toit and Mahalia Murphy. A late try to England consolidated the score but it was Australia who would be progressing to the Semi Finals with a 29-12 victory.

Semi Final Australia 25 defeated Canada 7

From their own try line, Australia slowly worked their way up field, with a nice run from Emma Sykes aiding the Aussies in their advance. Charlotte Caslick created a gap in the middle of the field and unleashed Emma Tonegato’s pace for the opening try. Canada held onto possession but aggressive defence from Emilee Cherry and Shannon Parry kept Canada at bay, eventually allowing Charlotte Caslick to score in the corner to extend the lead to 10. The Aussie 7s continued to pile on the pressure camped in Canada’s half and the pressure eventually became too much, allowing Evania Pelite to score underneath the posts giving Australia a 15-0 lead at the break.

The second half saw Canada pulled the score back with a well worked try from their Captain Ghislaine Landry who kicked in behind to take the score to 15-7. It was the one blow Canada were able to strike as the clinical Aussie 7s side scored tries through Evani Pelite (2) and Emilee Cherry to win the match 25-7 and ensure another Dubai Finals appearance.

Cup Final Australia 34 defeated USA 0

It was all team USA in the opening minutes of the Cup Final with the Americans happy to truck the ball up slowly against Australia working into the Aussie red zone. Emilee Cherry earned Australia a penalty and the Aussies turned the USA around allowing Emma Tonegato to score in the corner to take a 5-0 lead. The two physically battered teams threw everything at each other as they traded possession, but it was the vision of Sharni Williams that led to Australia’s second try as she cantered down the side line to move the scoreboard to 10-0 after spotting no defenders on the blindside of a ruck. Vani Pelite poured more pressure on the USA with a final try before the half time break to move the scoreboard to 17-0.

The experience and superior conditioning of the Australian team began to show in the second half as Emilee Cherry outran the USA cover defence to score and take the scoreboard to 22-0. Any chance of an American comeback was ended with another Aussie 7s try, this time to Dom Du Toit, with accurate Australian passing stretching the America defence to put Du Toit over in the corner. A late run by the Americans couldn't result in a consolation try, leaving the Aussie 7s to take the match 34-0.