Aussie women clinch World Series crown, through to Paris final

Womens - Paris
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Welcome to RUGBY.com.au's LIVE coverage of the Paris Sevens.

Australia's men have had a disappointing finish to their pool stage in Paris, losing 24-14 to Ireland to miss out on the Cup quarter-finals.

The Aussie women scraped through a thrilling Cup quarter-final against Fiji earlier today, setting up a semi-final against hosts, France at 5:36am AEST.

Watch that match LIVE on FOX SPORTS or keep up here for all the Aussie updates, reaction and analysis.

5:57am - Women - Australia 21 - France 17

Australia’s women will be the World Series champions for the second time in three seasons, after an Emilee Cherry score handed them a 21-17 win over France in their Cup semi-final.

The Aussies needed to simply make the Paris final to ensure they would take the overall series crown, but it took until the dying seconds of the game to get them there.

Patience was critical for Australia, in a tussle with a gritty French side that didn’t want to give any easy scores to the series leaders.

It took until the halfway point of the first half for Australia to score, with Charlotte Caslick sparking a chain that put Dom du Toit over.

An individual effort from Emilee Cherry gave Australia their second, with Cherry plucking the ball from the base of the ruck and backing her sped to motor past the French defenders, for a 14-0 half-time lead.


France went on the attack early, and despite some strong Aussie defence, Fanny Horta eventually clinched a try for the hosts.

They had another within a minute, making the margin just two points, and Evania Pelite was sent to the bin for a high tackle on the way to attempting to prevent the score.

Another high tackle call opened the chance for France to take the lead, through Chloe Pelle, leaving the Aussies with a three-point gap to bridge in the final two minutes.

And it was Cherry who finished a super attacking chain from Australia to steal victory, and ensure the Aussies will be lifting at least one cup this weekend.

The Aussies will face New Zealand in the Cup Final on Monday morning at 1:30am AEST.

2:05am - Men - Australia 14 - Ireland 24

Australia’s men will not feature in the Cup quarter-finals in Paris, going down to Ireland 24-14 in their final pool match.

Lewis Holland had the first try of the match just two minutes in, going over after picking the ball off the base of the ruck.

Ireland returned the favour with interest, scoring two consecutive tries to take a 14-7 lead, through Terry Kennedy and Mark Roche.


The Irish had the first real chance to attack in the second, after Holland was penalised for a late tackle, and Roche had his second to put the blowtorch on the Aussies.

Maurice Longbottom broke away to whittle down the gap for Australia, but it was too little too late for them, left only to lament a disappointing end to day one.

An Adam Leavy score in the final minute sealed Australia’s fate, with the Irish through to a second straight Cup competition, despite not being an official World Series team.

Australia will fall to the Challenge side of the competition in Paris.

12:50am - Women - Australia 22 - Fiji 19


Emilee Cherry has snatched a last-gasp Cup quarter-final win for Australia, 22-19 over Fiji, with only seconds to go in the knockout clash.

Australia had not led until that moment, when Cherry saved them from a shock exit from the Cup competition, and kept their World title chances alive.

Things did not go all Australia’s way, with Charlotte Caslick sin binned for a high tackle after just two minutes.

Fiji made Australia pay immediately, through Miriama Manaiobasali, giving them a five-point lead.

Emilee Cherry, Shannon Parry and Charlotte Caslick linked up for the latter to score with one minute to go until the break, putting them back on equal footing.

That deadlock was blown up by Fiji, with a score right on the break, leaving the Aussie women to chase the game in the second half.

The Aussies put themselves back on track, with Dom du Toit collecting a Caslick pass t score just one minute into the second half.

Fiji manipulated the Aussie defence, catching them on the back foot, and though Evania Pelite stopped one score, Merewai Cumu managed to notch a score on the next play, leaving the World Series leaders with a seven-point hole.

Du Toit cut that hole back to two, with her second of the match and an Emma Sykes conversion giving Australia time to steal the lead.

Cherry had one crack at building a try, but some poor handling from Charlotte Caslick forced them to restart and they didn’t make the same mistake twice, with Cherry running away for a score.

The Aussies will play a Cup semi-final against either England or France at 5:36am AEST.

8:17pm - Men - Australia 10 - Spain 17


The Aussie men have dropped their second game in Paris, going down to Spain, 17-10.

It was a tough affair early on, with neither team able to get much space, but Ben O’Donnell broke through for the first try of the game.

Australia’s gritty defence kept Spain at bay, but ultimately the Spaniards managed an equaliser, just shy of half-time, through Alejandro Alonso, and a second on the final play put them ahead.

The Aussies found themselves a man down, with Maurice Longbottom yellow-carded, but it didn’t stop Tim Anstee from running away to score, and narrow the gap to just two points.

Longbottom tried to create another score for the Aussies, but was pushed into touch, as the time ticked down.

Another Spain try, to Pol Pla, made Australia’s task that little bit more difficult with just three minutes to go.

Joe Pincus will play the rest of the tournament with Tom Lucas ruled out with a cut to his knee suffered against Wales.

Australia will play its final pool match against Ireland at 1:48am AEST.

5:20pm - Men’s – Australia 29 - Wales 10


Australia’s men have opened their Paris campaign with a 29-10 win over Wales

It took Sam Myers less than a minute to open the Australian ledger in Paris, the forward beating out a Welsh defender to score.

The Aussies forced Wales into some frantic decision-making, with gritty defence, and they  scored with their next chance, off some tricky Maurice Longbottom footwork.

Things quickly turned for Longbottom, with the speedster yellow-carded and Wales took immediate advantage, with an Owen Jenkins try.

Paris inclusion Brandon Quinn gave Australia the last say of that first half, with a try 90 secs into final play time, to lead by 12 at the break.

A second-half arm wrestle was broken up by Longbottom’s second, with four minutes to go, with the rising star taking a ball at halfback and going through to score.

Liam McNamara capped off his return to the World Series, after a nine-month injury layoff, with a super individual try as Australia began to blow the margin out.

Wales had the last score, with Jenkins nabbing a double, but it came too late to cause an upset.

Australia will be sweating on an injury to Tom Lucas, who limped off the field midway through the first half of the clash.

They’ll take on Spain in their second match at 7:56pm AEST.

4:15pm - McNamara returns


Rising men's star Liam McNamara spoke to RUGBY.com.au about ahead of his return to the field from a nine-month injury layoff.

Here's a refresher on the men's squad named to play in Paris.

SQUAD

Aussie men's Sevens for Paris Sevens

1. Jeral Skelton, 5 caps, Brothers 

2. Dylan Pietsch, 10 caps, Randwick

3. Sam Myers, 36 caps, Norths (Sydney)

4. Lewis Holland (c), 37 caps, Queanbeyan

5. Ben O'Donnell, 9 caps, Randwick

6. Brandon Quinn, 8 caps, Gordon

7. Tim Anstee, 19 caps, Eastwood

8. Liam McNamara, 8 caps, Sunnybank

9. Boyd Killingworth, 18 caps, Warringah

10. Tom Lucas, 26 caps, Sunnybank

11. Maurice Longbottom, 7 caps, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team

12. Lachie Anderson, 16 caps, Eastwood

13th man Joe Pincus, 1 cap, University of Queensland

4pm - Day two on the way


The Aussie women went through undefeated on day one in Paris, beating Fiji, Russia and Canada on their way to the Cup quarter-finals.

Take a look back at all the action right here.