The Australian Youth Olympic Rugby Sevens girls team will play Canada in the Gold Medal match in Nanjing tomorrow at midday (AEST).
Australia saw off the challenge of the United States in the Semi-Finals (33-0) having earlier beaten the much-fancied Canadian outfit in the final pool game (21-5) at a humid Youth Olympic Sports Park Rugby Field.
Dom du Toit got the Aussies off to the perfect start against the Americans, steaming clear to touch down for the fifth time this tournament after just 15 seconds of the game. A double from Shenae Ciesiolka put the tie beyond doubt before Tiana Penitani and Marioulla Belessis completed the scoring.
National Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “The Semi-Final was the perfect lead up to the Final. The girls scrambled well in defence and scored some well-executed tries.
“The team have worked hard and the day-by-day countdown is finally only one sleep away. The Gold Medal match will feature two Women’s Sevens teams with two contrasting styles. The girls are ready to make history.”
Earlier, Australia beat fellow finalists Canada to ensure they would proceed to the knockout stages as top seeds. Despite falling behind early on, Brooke Anderson, Tayla Stanford and Dom du Toit all scored to give the green and gold a hard-fought win.
Caitlin Moran, from Cardiff South in New South Wales, was the stand-out player in both games of the day against Canada and the USA.
Moran said: “That’s a shout out to my brother!
“Thank you for all the backyard biffs that we had- when I hated you because you pushed me into the fence - it really got my footwork going.
“Going back to when we were kids he was always onto me about footwork. I’m not the biggest on the field - clearly, we’re not the biggest team, but you’ve got to be smarter, faster and spread it wide.
“Aussies have got some different sort of talent than everyone else has so it’s really good to analyse it and use it.”
John Tait’s Canadian side won 26-19 in a dramatic match against China in the other Semi-Final.
Co-captain Brooke Anderson is expected to be fit for the Gold Medal match after being taken off in the morning game against Canada and sitting out the Semi-Final.
Final Pool standings: 1. Australia 15pts, 2. China 13pts, 3. Canada 11pts, 4. USA 8pts, 5. Spain 8pts, 6. Tunisia 5pts
The 2014 Australian Women’s Youth Olympic Rugby Sevens results and fixture in Nanjing, China on 17-20 August 2014:
Australia 33-0 Tunisia
Australia 15-12 China
Australia 38-0 USA
Australia 41-0 Spain
Australia 21-5 Canada
Australia 33–0 USA (Semi-Final)
Australia v Canada (Gold Medal Match, Midday AEST, 20 August)