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By ARU Media Unit
The Qantas Women's Sevens team emerged unbeaten after three solid performances saw them cruise through to a Cup Quarter-Final showdown with Japan tomorrow, leaving Head Coach Tim Walsh satisfied with his side's display in the Arena Barueri, Sao Paulo.
"Day One finished with one of our most polished performances [against Russia]. We were very effective in the ruck contest and controlled possession to deliver some quick ball to play with some width," Walsh said.
"However, the biggest improvement and most pleasing stat came from our tackle completion. Finals day tomorrow and a similar performance will make for an exciting and successful day."
Australia got their campaign off to a perfect start as six different try scorers helped set up an incisive display against Argentina. Emilee Cherry's sublime dummy and subsequent touch down in the opening minute set the tone for the remainder of the game as Amy Turner, Charlotte Caslick, Alicia Quirk, Hanna Sio and Rachel Crothers all crossed the line to rack up a 38-0 win.
Back Alicia Quirk admitted afterwards the fixture against the Argentines had seen the Aussies "anxious" before the game - a side they hadn't played against previously.
Next up in Pool B saw the Aussies take on Japan. And it was the enthusiastic Japanese outfit that made the early running, with Noriko Taniguchi touching down out wide.
However, the lead was short-lived, as Emma Tonegato, Saofaiga Saemo and Amy Turner gave the green and gold a healthy advantage, before Emilee Cherry rounded off a good team move to score under the posts on the siren and seal a 24-7 victory.
On paper, Russia were the side most likely to pose a threat to the Australians. However the Dubai Sevens winners turned in a scintillating all-round effort, scoring six tries in a comprehensive 34-0 success. Emilee Cherry (2), Charlotte Caslick, Emma Tonegato and Amy Turner (2) the try scorers.
Double try-scorer Amy Turner said afterwards: "Our performance in that last game was a great one. In the first half we did everything we wanted to do. We controlled possession and scored some great tries.
"It was a really enjoyable game."
IRB Women's Sevens Series leaders New Zealand are the only other side to remain unbeaten on the opening day, beating Ireland, United States and a tough England team in Pool A.
Australian Women’s Sevens results in Sao Paulo, 22 February 2014:
Australia 38-0 Argentina, Pool B
Australia 24-7 China, Pool B
Australia 34-0 Russia, Pool B
Australia v Japan (Cup Quarter-Final), 4.30am AEDT on 23 February