Women's Sydney 7s: Aussies go down in Cup final, Kiwis claim maiden title

Womens - Sydney
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia has finished second at the Sydney 7s in 2019 after going down to New Zealand 34-10 in the final.

USA finished with the bronze, Ireland was fourth and Canada came fifth.

Missed any of the day two women's action? click here.

For the full day three schedule, click here.

For live scorers and results throughout the day, click here.

7:51pm - Cup final a valuable experience for youngsters: Williams

Aussie Sevens co-captain Sharni Williams says Australia's first Cup final of the 2018-19 World Series will be a major learning experience for their emerging generation.

Sydney was the first tournament in which Australia had made a Cup final since Paris last year and Williams said they would benefit from that hugely.

"We've got some young girls here and it's about teaching them about getting to a final and trying to be successful. I'm really proud of the efforts these girls put in this weekend," she said.

Williams rued her own yellow card post-match and said the Aussies simply couldn't combat the Kiwis' attack the way they had planned.

"For one me getting sent off wasn't really good," she said.

"The guys having to defend with 6 they really put in there but we knew the Black Ferns were going to step back, step back so we wanted to shut that gate but we didn't really do that so that let us down a little bit."

Australia sits equal third on points after the Sydney tournament and Williams was staying positive overall.

"We'll take those points and the experience these young girls got out of it but also this old dog got a bit out of it too," she laughed.

7:28pm - Kiwis savour victory

New Zealand's women won their maiden Sydney 7s title on Sunday night. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyIt was an emotional day for both sides after the cup final and the Kiwis were savouring every second of their win.

Hat-trick hero Michaela Blyde added another trophy to her cabinet with the UL Mark of Excellence Award and said the Black Ferns 7s certainly appreciated the title.

"It’s always hard coming up against Australia at home," she said post-match.

"We knew they were going to come out firing in front of their families and friends, so we just made sure we emptied it out on that field.

"We’ve come out with the result which is brilliant. Since the Commonwealth Games final, we’ve completely turned around our culture, our game plan and mindset.

"We’ve got a really tough year coming up with Olympic qualification this year and Olympics next year so every tournament, team and game is one you’ve got to not take lightly. We’re coming out on top and that’s good."

7:14pm - FINAL STANDINGS

The all-important World Series rankings are in and the Aussies have pushed themselves into the top four after their second-placed finish, putting them back into the Olympic qualification window.

Just the top four at the end of the World Series will automatically qualify for Tokyo 2020.

STANDINGS

1. New Zealand - 60

2. USA - 48

3.  Canada - 46

3. Australia - 46

5. France - 32

6. Ireland - 30

7. Russia - 28

8. England - 19

9. Spain - 13

10. Fiji - 9

6:41pm - CUP FINAL


Australia’s women couldn’t engineer a second straight Sydney fairytale after going down to New Zealand 34-10 in the Cup final on Sunday night.

Only a year ago, Australia was celebrating a tournament shutout and a 31-0 Cup final win but the fortunes were completely reversed in this final.

Where Ellia Green had found space against Ireland earlier in the day, she couldn’t get near the ball against the Kiwis and the Aussies simply couldn’t respond to New Zealand’s attacking barrage.

Reigning World Player of the Year Michaela Blyde had a hat-trick for New Zealand and Stacey Waaka starred in a player of the match performance.

It was New Zealand who scored first somewhat controversially with an apparent knock on in the lead up, to take the early advantage.

Evania Pelite tried to take on the Kiwis on her own and went just five metres short of the try line before being taken into touch by the New Zealand defence.

Emma Sykes made it second time lucky for the Aussies with a chip and chase beating the Kiwi defence to levael the scores.

When Sharni Williams went to the bin for a collision with a jumping New Zealand player, the Aussies were left on the back foot.

Despite their best efforts, including a superb long-range chase from Ellia Green, Shakira Baker managed to escape the Aussies’ grasp to score.

New Zealand began the second half as they ended the first, with Michaela Blyde slipping through three Aussie defenders to score their fourth.

Sykes turned on the accelerator to speed though the New Zealand line and score her second of the match and narrow the gap to 14 points.

Green’s second long chase was a try stopped and the speedster attempted to counter attack with a kick but that effort went into touch and the Kiwis managed to score off the ensuing lineout.

Sykes threw an intercept in the final minutes of the clash to allow the Kiwis’ one final try and the chance to seal their 48th straight win going back to last year's Sydney 7s final.

Australia will move up into equal third in the overall standings after their second-place finish in Sydney.

5:37pm - MINOR PLACE PLAYOFFS

Ghislaine Landry celebrates after Canada's fifth-place win. Photo: Getty ImagesCanada has stolen the fifth spot in Sydney at the last possible moment with a last-gasp win over France.

The Canadians trailed for much of the match, with a two-try hole to make up.

Just when it seemed they had run out of time, Bianca Farella found a gap to score the match-winner.

With every point critical in an Olympic qualification year, the Canadians were pleased to take that position, despite missing out on higher honours.

Russia has taken seventh spot in the women's Sydney 7s, cruising to a 27-5 win over Spain in their final hitout of the weekend.

RESULTS

Russia 27 -  Spain 5

5:42pm - Canada vs France

11:02am - Aussies happy to survive semi-final "heart attack"

The Aussie Sevens women will take confidence from surviving a “little heart attack” in their Cup semi-final as they prepare for a Sydney showdown with New Zealand.

Australia burst out of the blocks to a 19-0 lead but the Irish had them on the back foot in the second half, forcing the hosts to defend as the stanza ticked on.

That the Aussies were able to withstand that pressure and in fact turn it into a last-minute Ellia Green score is a handy confidence boost ahead of their clash with the Kiwis, playmaker Quirk said.

“Semi-finals are always really tough and Ireland had a fantastic day one and two so we really wanted to shut them down early which I think we did and then kind of went away from the game plan a little bit towards the middle gave ourselves a little heart attack,” she said.

“(It’s) really good to know even when teams put points on you that you can put points back on and stay composed under pressure.

“New Zealand are one of the best attacking teams in the world when they've got ball in hand they're going to be really, really hard to stop. “

The Aussie Sevens' ferocious defence helped them across the line against Ireland. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyGreen has been the spark the Aussies needed in the finals, with a hat-trick and a pivotal tackle helping the home side in the semis, something Quirk said hadn’t gone unnoticed by her teammates.

“She's just on fire,” she said.

“She just really enjoying this moment, she loves playing at home.

“She's got her brother here watching her for the first time so she's got some added extra motivation and playing some fantastic footy.”

This is Australia’s first Cup final appearance since last year’s Paris Sevens, a match they lost to New Zealand.

The Kiwis will be without their own playmaker in Tyla Nathan-Wong after she was ruled out with injury but they will still have an arsenal of dangerous weapons to deploy.

New Zealand has won 47 straight matches since losing the Sydney 7s final last year, winning five straight World Series cups, the Commonwealth Games gold medal,  the Sevens World Cup and last weekend’s exhibition Fast Four series, which was a sanctioned World Rugby tournament.

10:12am - CUP SEMI-FINALS

An Ellia Green hat-trick has sparked Australia into a 24-12 semi-final win over Ireland and their second straight Sydney 7 Cup final  against New Zealand.

Ireland mounted early pressure in attack but the Aussie defence looked like holding firm and Sharni Williams forced a turnover.

Australia went coast to coast after that, with Vani Pelite taking a quick tap and putting Ellia Green over the line for her 100th career try.

And just like that, Green was over again to finish off an attack started by Williams.

Emma Sykes looked for Green on the right edge again with their next attacking charge but the Irish snuffed that attempt out as Emma Tonegato entered the fray.

Tonegato struck on that same sideline as soon as she had the opportunity, with Pelite yet again creating an attacking opportunity for her teammate.

Ireland struck first in the second half, through the tournament-leading try scorer Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe, to narrow the gap to 12 points.

The Aussies were camped in their own 22 for much of that half and Murphy Crowe found the line again to make the margin just one score with three minutes left.

Green showed her importance on the other side of the ball as the Irish again pushed for the line, forcing a turnover and diffusing some late pressure.

She wasn’t done with her impact then, going herself down the left edge to score the match sealer.

Ellia Green. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyAustralia face their toughest challenge of the weekend in Sunday’s final against New Zealand, who they haven’t beaten since last year’s Sydney decide

New Zealand cruised to another Cup final berth after a 29-5 win over USA in their semi-final.

It was a scrappy start from the Kiwis but they broke through in the second minute with a try to Michaela Blyde and never looked back.

USA notched a consolation try late to avoid a shutout but by then the result was already decided.

9:30am - FIFTH PLACE SEMI-FINALS

It will be France and Canada in the fifth-place playoff this afternoon after getting through the semi-finals.

Canada were first through with a 12-5 win over Russia and then France beat out Spain to qualify.

RESULTS

Canada 12 - Russia 5

France 19 - Spain 12

9:20am - A day at the Sydney 7s

How is the Sydney 7s like a wedding reception and what do the players eat between matches? RUGBY.com.au's Sam Figg takes you on a behind-the-scenes tour of the biggest rugby party of the year.


8:20am - Campo to suit up for Classics

The annual Classics match has become a cornerstone of the Sydney 7s weekend and today's clash is rumoured to have a very special guest.

Wallabies legend David Campese is set to pull on the jersey for the Aussies and go up agains the Pacific Classics.

Tickets are on track for a possible sellout today, so if you want to see the likes of Campo, Lote Tuqiri Justin Harrison and former Wallabies hooker Adam Freier in action, get down to Spotless Stadium.

8:16am - All the latest


Before the on-field action kicks off, here's a recap of some of the stories you might've missed yesterday.

  GREEN GOES BANG TO SHOW SHE'S FAST AND FURIOUS

  SYDNEY 7S SET TO SHIFT IN 2020