UQ go back-to-back at Macquarie

Uni 7s
by Sam Phillips

The Macquarie University 7s are in the books and it's UQ that have been crowned champs once again, defending the title they won in Launceston.

The Queenslanders are yet to lose a game in their 10 starts this year, an extraordinary effort in itself.

They beat Bond at the death in a thrilling final in Sydney, with Griffith turning the tables on Macquarie to claim bronze.

Here's how all the action panned out as it happened.

1:50pm - University of Queensland 22 Bond University 17 - Gold Medal match

It was a grand final replay billed as a blockbuster and that's exactly what the Macquarie University crowd were treated to, UQ scoring after the final siren to snatch the title from Bond.

There were four lead changes from start to finish and it was UQ that came firing out of the blocks, Lily Dick crossing to draw first blood.UQ haven't dropped a game in 10 starts this year. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonBond hit back through a five pointer to Millie Boyle, Charlotte Caslick splitting the line from 70 out before finding Boyle closer to the posts, allowing for an easier conversion which put her team up 7-5.

Dick made Bond pay for some haphazard play on the half time siren, crossing for her second and putting the reigning champs up 10-7 at the break.

Bond stuck back early in the second half through Brooke Walker, who took advantage of a 2-on-2 to slice through the line and score.

Trinity Mamoe extended Bond's break soon after, opening up a 17-10 lead with four to play.

But UQ weren't done with yet, Mackenzie Sadler scoring to put the team within touching distance and it took until after the final siren had sounded for UQ to put their noses back in front, Dutch star Bodil Van Wijnbergen beating Caslick on the line and scoring the winner.

1:30pm - Griffith University 20 Macquarie University 5 - Bronze Medal match

Olivia Brooks and Macquarie were no match for Griffith. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonGriffith followed Adelaide's lead in suffocating Macquarie of territory and possession, proving far too good for Macquarie in winning a bronze medal.

Griffith dominated the contact and took the space at the breakdown, making all Macquarie ball messy ball and repeatedly crossing out wide through Eliza Flynn, Ellen Field and Nareta Masters, who were the stars with ball in hand.

Lauren Brown controlled proceedings at first receiver for the majority of the match, Macquarie's only five pointer coming when Emily Chancellor picked off a pop pass in freakish fashion to cross on the siren.

1:10pm - University of Adelaide 27 University of Canberra 5 - 5th place playoff

It was the Vani Pelite-Mahalia Murphy show for the Romas, the pair combining to put Murphy in for three first half tries, each with relative ease.

Canberra barely touched the ball in the first half and when they did, it wasn't in any sort of significant territory, leaving them trailing 17-0 at the break.

It was more of the same in the second term, as Adelaide dominated possession and took advantage of a sloppy Canberra performance, scoring two tries to one and proving far too strong to claim fifth place.

12:50pm - University of New England 10 University of Tasmania 5 - 7th place playoff

UNE were too strong for UTAS. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonUNE put UTAS under the pump from the outset and Rhiannon Byers turned that pressure into points with two minutes to play in the first term, Mel Howard hitting the upright in her conversion attempt.

New England stayed firmly on the front foot for the remainder of the first term, setting up camp in the UTAS 22 but the Tasmanians survived, having conceded just one try at the break.

UTAS had their first ball inside the New England 22 to start the second term but UNE repelled that attack before setting off for their own assault on the Tasmanian line, Byers crossing for her second soon after.

It took one of the tries of the tournament from Tahni Champion-Peakman to put Tasmania on the board, the UTAS speedster flying down the right hand sideline to giver her team a shot at a late win with 30 seconds to play.

But the kickoff was too deep and UNE hung on, claiming 7th place.

12:10pm - Finals update

With the first four matches of the day in the books, we are in the middle of a break before the final four matches of the tournament get underway.

Here's who will play who.

7th place playoff - University of Tasmania vs University of New England

5th place playoff - University of Adelaide vs University of Canberra

Bronze Medal match Griffith University vs Macquarie University

Gold Medal match - Bond University vs University of Queensland

12pm - University of Queensland 10 Macquarie University 7 - Gold Medal semi final

UQ absorbed the early pressure Macquarie applied before applying some of their own, Emilee Cherry setting off on a run from 50 out to score the first points of the match.

Macquarie hammered the UQ line for the remainder of the first term and after repelling repeated waves, Chloe Dalton finally found an unmarked Olivia Brooks, who sprinted her way to the line to level the scores.

Dalton then slotted the conversion five out from the right hand sideline, putting the crowd favourites in front 7-5 at the break.

This was a clash of two very impressive teams and the defence was exemplary on either side.

It took some considered, controlled play from UQ to put Emma Sykes over with one minute to play, leaving Macquarie one last shot to erase the 10-7 deficit.

But UQ won a penalty and Sykes booted the ball into touch, booking a grand final replay with Bond.

11:40am - Bond University 17 Griffith University 10 - Gold Medal semi final

Bond have booked a ticket in their second straight grand final. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonBond will get their chance to go one better, beating Griffith to secure a grand final berth.

Both teams crossed for one try a piece in the first term, setting up a titanic battle for a grand final berth in the second term.

The stars stood up in that second term, Nareta Masters setting up Eseta Aho Fangaloka with a long, powerful run down the right hand sideline to set up a 10-7 Griffith lead.

Bond took control soon after and crossed through Irish international Stacey Flood with three minutes to play, putting her side in the box seat at 12-10.

Jessika Elliston scored the sealer on the buzzer, putting her side through to their second straight final.

11:20am - University of Canberra 24 University of New England 12 - 5th place playoff semi final

Alicia Quirk was out of action this morning. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonUNE were without stars Alicia Quirk and Kim Resch and that hindered their attack, a deadlock playing out until midway through the first term, when UC crossed for their first of the afternoon.

Canberra looked to have the defence to limit UNE's scoring ability but on the stroke of half time, Hannah Southwell scored to bring her side within two at the break.

Cassie Staples showed a tremendous turn of foot to score a late double that secured the result for her side, putting them in a fifth place playoff against Adelaide this afternoon.

11am - University of Adelaide 20 University of Tasmania 10 - 5th place playoff semi final

Adelaide didn't have a great deal of territory early but they did have Mahalia Murphy in their ranks and she scored the first try of the day, palming off Tasmanian defenders at will en route to a five pointer under the posts.

Murphy's Australian Sevens teammate Vani Pelite was rewarded for some crunching defence with a try of her own three minutes later, opening up a 10-0 break.

USA speedster Kiki Morgan didn't have much chance to showcase her superb speed yesterday but she found some space down the left hand sideline as the half time siren sounded, scooting away to bring the Tasmanians within striking distance at the break.

Eva Karpani gave Adelaide some breathing room with her unique turn of foot halfway through the second term before Pelite scored her second of the afternoon with some smart play, grubbering through to herself, collecting over the line and sealing the result for her side.

If you missed any of the action yesterday, you can see how it all panned out here.

Here's how the matches will play out today.

10:40am - University of Tasmania v University of Adelaide - 5th place playoff semi final

11:00am - University of New England v University of Canberra - 5th place playoff semi final

11:20am - Griffith University v Bond University - semi final

11:40am - University of Queensland v Macquarie University - semi final

12:30pm - 7th place playoff

12:50pm - 5th place playoff

1:10pm - 3rd place playoff

1:30pm - Final

3pm - NRC - Sydney Rays v Greater Sydney Rams