Aussie women claim Cup glory, men book Cup QF berth

by Sam Phillips

Day two of the Dubai Sevens is done and dusted and it's been a triumphant one for the Australians, with the women claiming the Cup and the men through to a Cup quarter final.

The women were dominant throughout the tournament and it was no different in the final, hammering USA in the big dance to break a drought of eight straight World Series tournaments without claiming the top prize.

The men looked similarly dominant in their first two starts before facing the might of Fiji, falling to the Olympic champions when they conceded two tries in the final 40 seconds.

Here's how all the action went down throughout the night.

2:20am - Men's pool match - Australia 19 Fiji 26

A heartbreaking late double for Fijian star John Stewart in the final 40 seconds has sunk Australia's perfect record in Dubai.

Australia looked certain to get through day two on top of Pool C after shooting out to a 19-14 lead but the Fijians had other ideas, going the length of the field in the final minute before scoring one more time after the final siren.

James Stannard was one of Australia's best against Fiji. Photo: Getty ImagesAustralia had plenty of early ball and eventually worked an overlap, Sam Myers dotting down to ensure he got his name on the scoresheet in every match today.

Jerry Tuwai hit back for the Fijians, palming two Aussie defenders before dotting down under the posts and giving his side a 7-5 lead.

Simon Kennewell was the man to cross next, beating a Fijian defender in a one-on-one spot 30 out from the line and scooting over to put the Aussies back in front, 12-7.

Tuwai set up a try to put the Fijians back in front, though, on the stroke of half time.Ben O'Donnell crossed for Australia's third against Fiji. Photo: World RugbyCoach Andy Friend injected Maurice Longbottom into the fray and he made an immediate impact, throwing the final pass for Ben O'Donnell to cross and put Australia back in front, 19-14, Stannard converting from the sideline.

But Stewart sunk the Aussies with two late tries, leaving Fiji on top of the pool.

Australia will still progress to a Cup quarter final after finishing second in the group, facing the winner of Scotland-England at 7:06pm AEDT on Saturday.

12:40am - Women's Cup final - Australia 34 USA 0

Australia were hardly troubled all tournament and that didn't change in the final, breezing past USA to claim Cup glory.

It's their first World Series win since the 2016 Atlanta Sevens, breaking a run of eight straight World Series tournaments without gold.

Emma Tonegato was awarded player of the final, with Vani Pelite crowned player of the tournament.

In total, coach Tim Walsh's side scored 168 points and conceded just 38 in six starts, an indication of their dominance over the other nations.

Here's how all the action panned out in the final.

The USA controlled the ball for the first two minutes but outside of that, Australia never gave them a sniff.

It did take an Emilee Cherry pilfer penalty to get the Australians rolling, Shannon Parry making a break Charlotte Caslick throwing a beautiful cutout to Emma Tonegato to put her over for the game's first five pointer, with three minutes gone on the clock.Sharni Williams crossed in the final. Photo: World RugbyAustralia's second came from nothing, Sharni Williams picking up the ball from a regulation breakdown, spotting a gap down the blindside and running 50 metres to dive over untouched with 90 seconds to play in the first term.

Tonegato went from finisher to creator in the final play of the half, drawing three American defenders and creating space for Vani Pelite to go over untouched, opening up a 17-0 half time lead.

Emilee Cherry scored Australia's fourth 90 seconds into the second term, a loose ball finding her on the left wing for a trot to the line, before Dom du Toit crossed on the other side of the field and added another under the sticks soon after.

9:15pm - Women's Cup SF - Australia 25 Canada 7

The Aussies showed pitch perfect patience in the lead up to Emma Tonegato’s first, Charlotte Caslick finally splitting the line after seven phases and dishing to Tonegato for a clear run to the line from 20 out.

Charlotte Caslick is on fire in Dubai. Photo: Oceania RugbyCaslick then forced a penalty as Canada worked the ball back to halfway from the kickoff, sprinting 50 metres to dot down in the right hand corner and open up a 10-0 lead.

With one minute to play in the first term the Australians again stayed patient and worked their way into the Canadian 22, Vani Pelite eventually finding the space to throw a dummy, split the line and score her team’s third.

Canada matched that patience after the final siren had sounded, controlling possession for two minutes after the siren had rung out but as they lunged over the line, the ball was knocked on, giving the Aussies a 15-0 half time lead.

Canada finally crossed two minutes into the second term, skipper Ghislaine Landy grubbering behind the Australian line, regaining and scoring to narrow the gap to 15-7.Shannon Parry and the Aussies are through to a Cup final. Photo: Getty ImagesPelite scored her second of the match and her fourth of the weekend in response, palming a would be tackler on her way to extending the lead to 20-7 with three to play.

A superb run from Sharni Williams released Pelite and Emilee Cherry one minute later, the latter taking a perfect pass from the former to score the try that ensured a Cup final berth.

8:10pm - Men's pool match - Australia 47 Russia 0

Australia have issued another warning shot to the rest of the World Series, flogging Russia in their second pool match.

Sam Myers immediately put the Australians on the front foot in making a break down the right hand sideline, John Porch tracking him and scoring from the next phase.

Russia held their own for the next five minutes but they couldn't force their way out of their own half, a loose ball dribbling towards the Australian defence and James Stannard cleaning up the crumbs before scoring under the sticks.

Russia looked to respond and worked their way into the Australian 22 as the half time siren sounded, only to cough the ball up and give Brandon Quinn a passage to squeeze through and run a further 80 metres to score.

Lewi Holland put his name on the scoresheet as soon as the second half got underway before Quinn nabbed his second for the match with an eye catching, athletic finish.

Maurice Longbottom then dazzled the Russian defence with a lightning right foot step to break the line and scoot away for his first World Series try.

Myers got his second for the day as the final siren sounded, the final nail in the Russian coffin.

Next up, Fiji, at 2:06am AEDT, the clash that will decide the winner of Pool C.

5:10pm - Women's Cup QF - Australia 29 England 12

Australia have cruised to a Cup semi final berth with a comprehensive win over England.

Emma Tonegato picked up from where she left off yesterday in drawing first blood for the Australians, Emilee Cherry setting her up with a driving run in the opening two minutes.

England hit back with a superb team try soon after but the Australians kept their composure and Emma Sykes again showed great rugby IQ to slow the play down, step inside and slice the line to score.

The Aussies weren't done yet, though, as Cherry used the last play of the half to step inside three English defenders and throw a beautiful, looping cutout pass to Sharni Williams, who dropped the ball back inside to Vani Pelite for a try.

That left the score perched at 17-5 and in a hard fought second half the Australians were made to work for Dom du Toit's first five pointer of the day.

England scored a late consolation try but that would be far too little, far too late, as the Australians secured a semi final berth.

The Aussies will face Canada at 8:50pm AEDT, with USA to face Russia in the other Cup semi after the Eagles pulled off an enormous upset against the Black Ferns at the death.

5:00pm - Men's pool match - Australia 38 Wales 7

The Aussie men have followed the example set by the women on day one, belting Wales in their opening pool match.

The Australians barely got out of first gear in the 31-point win, Simon Kennewell striking first.Sam Myers scored a late try against Wales. Photo: Getty ImagesBen O'Donnell nabbed a double in his World Series debut, with John Porch and Lachie Anderson the other first half scorers.

Sam Myers scored the sealer in a huge win for coach Andy Friend's side.

Next up, Russia, at 7:44pm AEDT.

4:10pm - Welcome

Here's a recap of how the women fared on day one.

And here is the list of fixtures for the men today.


Australian Men's Sevens fixtures

Friday December 1

Australia v Wales, 4.44pm AEDT

Australia v Russia, 7.44pm AEDT

Saturday 2 December

Australia v Fiji, 2.06am AEDT