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AUSTRALIA MAINTAIN LEAD ON WORLD SERIES STANDINGS AFTER SILVER IN CANADA
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The Qantas Australian Women's Sevens side have finished with Silver at the HSBC Canada Sevens after going down to New Zealand in the Cup Final in Langford.
Australia defeated Fiji and France to progress through to the Final but New Zealand overpowered their great rivals to take the crown at Westhills Stadium.
It was a record-breaking defeat in the Cup Final as Australia proved no match for New Zealand, going down 46-nil in a one-sided encounter.
The Australian Women’s Sevens side are still on top of the HSBC World Series standings, with New Zealand now just four points adrift in second place ahead of the final tournament in Paris next month.
Interim Qantas Australian Women's Sevens coach, John Manenti said: "There was plenty of good stuff over the weekend and I thought there was some big improvements in many areas but we just got blown away in the end.
“We just have to dust ourselves off. Our attack was far more clinical, our passing was better, our tackling was better other than falling off a fair few in the end there though.
“Some good exposure and minutes for our younger girls too. Page (McGregor) played half the game in the semi-final so there’s a heap of good stuff we’ll take out of that and a fair bit of hurt that will inspire us towards Paris as well.
“This exposure in the World Series, you can’t replicate that at home so to get Page, Yasmin, Lauren that time and Demi in back-to-back tournaments of big minutes, we’re filling a middle tier of players that are ready to step up,” Manenti said.
Australia 21 defeated Fiji 5
It was an early Cup quarter-final on day two against an unpredictable Fiji side and Emma Tonegato wasted no time in chalking up her sixth try of the tournament to open up a seven-point lead. Fiji tightened up defensively as Australia struggled to find their attacking rhythm but Emilee Cherry soon profited to make the score 14-nil at half-time.
The tough stuff continued early in the second half and Fiji worked their way back into the contest thanks to Ana Maria Naimasi, to make the score 14-5 with two minutes left to play. The brutal quarter-final eventually clinched by Tonegato though, who dotted down for the match winner and in doing so became Australia’s second-highest try scorer in World Series history.
Australia 17 defeated France 12
A much-improved France were aiming for back-to-back Cup Finals after coming second in Kitakyushu and they didn’t disappoint early with some intense defence keeping Australia at bay. A yellow card for an intentional knockdown hurt the organised French defence and Australia capitalised straight away as Emma Sykes sprinted away to score to make the score 7-nil at half-time.
The French maintained their aggressive defence in the second half and they reaped the rewards shortly after as Camille Grassineau collected the offload to score next to the posts. Australia failed to maintain possession off the kickoff and Chloe Pelle soon benefited out wide to give France the lead for the first time. Australia took better care off the next restart and Evania Pelite backed her pace down the left edge to round the French defence before passing back inside for Emilee Cherry to score next to the posts. Cherry missed the conversion which gave France one last chance to attack but they turned over the ball and Australia pounced for Pelite to score the match winner after full-time.
Australia 0 defeated by New Zealand 46
The old rivals kicked off yet another HSBC World Series Cup Final and it was New Zealand who drew first blood through try-scoring machine Portia Woodman. New Zealand then opened up a 12-point lead with two minutes left to play in the half, thanks to an offload from Woodman to Ruby Tui to dive over. Kelly Brazier was the next to score for New Zealand as she fended her way through the Australian defence but the Kiwis weren’t done there, as Woodman grabbed a first half double to have the margin at 22 points at the break.
The scoring onslaught didn’t stop in the second half as Niall Williams got her name on the scoresheet as the lead pushed out to 27. Australia struggled to hold onto the ball and exit their own half and it wasn’t long before New Zealand capitalised, again through Williams. The margin pushed out to 39 points when New Zealand captain Sarah Goss barged her way over but the scoring wasn’t done there as Brazier dotted down after the final siren to notch a famous 46-nil victory.
Canada Sevens results
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens
Cup quarter-final: Australia 21-5 Fiji
Cup semi-final: Australia 17-12 France
Cup Final: Australia 0-46 New Zealand