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Australian Women claim Bronze at Rugby World Cup Sevens

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The Australian Women's Sevens side have finished third to claim the bronze medal at the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco.

The side’s first task was against France in a rematch of the World Series semi-final in Paris last month.  The Aussies got out to a strong lead in the first half but France produced a remarkable comeback to pip the World Series champions after the full-time whistle and register a 19-12 win.

 

The Australians then had to face hosts, USA, in the bronze medal playoff in front of a raucous home crowd at AT&T Park.  The match was an arm wrestle from the start as both sides traded blows but a double from superstar Ellia Green proved the difference with the Aussies running out 24-14 winners.

Australian Women's Sevens co-captain, Shannon Parry said: "We’re proud of the effort to come away with the bronze after that hiccup against France. We really wanted to put on a good performance and I think we did that.”

“It is definitely a true test of character when you do lose and you have a key moment in a key match like that.

“To bounce back the way we did - it was very tight through the first half but to then extend our lead in the second half was very pleasing.

“It’s the end of the season now and it’s time to rest, recover and look forward to the Olympic qualifying year, next year,” Parry said.

Australia 12 defeated by France 19

Australia came into the semi-final as favourites after defeating France in Paris to claim the 2017/18 World Series title last month, and they showed their promise early with Alicia Quirk stealing a French lineout before Evania Pelite sliced through the line for first points. France were reduced to six moments later when Marjorie Mayans was yellow-carded for a deliberate knockdown. Emilee Cherry tried to make the most of the extra space but was bundled into touch five metres short.  The Aussies were gifted the ball back from the resulting lineout with the French throw ruled not straight. Charlotte Caslick took a quick tap before passing to Emilee Cherry who found a flying Ellia Green, who scored with her first touch of the day. The try had the Australians ahead 12-0 at the break.

The French got off to a quick start in the second half and found their first points when Chloe Pelle used her speed and strength to get past Sharni Williams in the corner. France began applying the heat and upped their physicality before a questionable clean-out from the women in blue saw Green taken off for a Head Injury Assesment. The Australians struggled to get their hands on the ball, and eventually the tide of French possession paid off when Fanny Horta dotted down next to the sticks to make the scores level at 12-a-piece. A wayward pass from Emma Tonegato shortly after the restart gave France the opportunity to find the matchwinner as the clock then ticked past the 14-minute mark. A missed tackle on the sideline allowed Anne Cecile Ciofani to cross and send France to the decider.

Australia 24 defeated USA 14

Australia went in against hosts USA without Alicia Quirk who was ruled out with a knee injury after the semi-final loss to France, with Cassie Staples called into the starting side in her place. The start was tense as the home side enjoyed all the territory and possession but it was the Australians with first points through Evania Pelite, who remarkably scored the first try in all of Australia’s games at the tournament. The USA though hit back almost immediately through their wing weapon Naya Tapper which made the score level at 7-all at the break.

The second half saw Staples make her mark, collecting an inside ball from Charlotte Caslick to put Australia back in front with five to go. Caslick then produced one of the plays of the tournament when she took the ball and spotted space in behind, executing a perfect kick for Ellia Green to steam onto and cross in the corner, extending the lead to 10. However, USA weren’t about to lie down at AT&T Park and they found their spark through Tapper to give her side a sniff with the clock ticking down. That small window shut almost immediately when Green darted out from halfback to collect her second try of the game and seal the bronze medal with a 24-14 win.

The Australian Men had to face Russia in a Challenge quarter-final, in what was their only match on day two at AT&T Park.

The side were able to put a disappointing performance yesterday against France in the rear-view mirror to thump Russia 41-0 in a comprehensive victory.

The Aussies will now play Canada in the Challenge semi-final on Monday at 4:12am AEST.

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens player, Henry Hutchison said: "I think the boys put a better performance in today against Russia but unfortunately for us, it came a game too late.”

“We love winning and we are still going to try and finish 9th but we would love to replace how we played there against Russia with how we played yesterday.”

"We woke up better, were more composed today but like I said, it's just one game too late,” Hutchison said.

Australia 41 defeated Russia 0

Australia’s task on day two of competition was to put the disappointment of their opening loss behind them against Russia. Speedster Henry Hutchison made the most of his first start, stepping inside his opposite winger to score the first points of the match. The Aussies had their second a minute later, after Tom Lucas took on the line before putting Ben O’Donnell through a huge hole to score under the crossbar for their second five-pointer. Russia’s task got harder when Igor Galinovskiy was yellow-carded for a neck roll on Jesse Parahi. The Aussies quick to capitalise as Boyd Killingworth crashed through the defensive line to set up Hutchison for his second, sending the side to the half time break 17-nil to the good.

The Aussies were gifted the first try of the second half when a wayward Russian pass hit the deck and bounced up for Liam McNamara to stroll in 15-metres untouched for his first of the tournament. Killingworth again found himself in the thick of the action, with a strong pilfer at the breakdown resulting in five points for John Porch seconds later. Porch returned the favour to Killingworth moments later with a left to right cut out hitting the big man on the chest, extending the lead to 34.  Livewire Maurice Longbottom iced the game with the last try of the match, making the final score, 41-0.

Rugby World Cup Sevens day two results

Australian Women’s Sevens

Semi-final: Australia 12-19 France

Bronze medal match: Australia 24-14 USA

Australian Men’s Sevens day two results

Challenge trophy quarter-final: Australia 41-0 Russia