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By ARU Media Unit
The Qantas Women’s Sevens continued their strong day one form at the Oceania Women’s Sevens Championships, finishing second after going down to a determined New Zealand outfit in the final.
It was the first meeting between the two sides since their epic 2009 Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens clash that saw Australia win in extra time.
The Qantas Women’s Sevens side couldn’t repeat the result from two years ago, going down 35-24 to their trans-Tasman rivals, however showed signs throughout the Championship that that they are well placed a year out from the next Rugby World Cup Sevens next year.
The Australians started day two the same way they finished day one, with a convincing 22-0 win over the Cook Islands before advancing to face Fiji in the semi-final.
The Qantas Women’s Sevens continued their good form and ran out 26-5 victors against the powerful Pacific Island nation to advance to the final against New Zealand.
While New Zealand were strong in the first half, Australia fought back, scoring a late try to close the gap to 21-19 at half time.
Chasing a two-point deficit in the second half, the Qantas Women’s Sevens were only able to notch one further try before eventually falling 11-points short, 35-24.
Day 1 provided a significant confidence boost for the Qantas Women’s Sevens, with an early 48-0 win over the Solomon Islands, before defeating Papua New Guinea 29-7 and Samoa 34-0.
Both Australia and New Zealand have already qualified for the Women’s Rugby World Cup Sevens in Russia next year, meaning third-place finishers Fiji secured a place in the Asian Rugby Football Union regional qualifier.
Meanwhile, the Qantas Men’s Sevens side has begun its preparations for the Oceania Sevens Championships, which Australia will host at North Sydney Oval on the weekend of 25-26 August.
The men’s tournament acts as a qualifier for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.
With New Zealand, Fiji and Samoa already qualified for the World Cup, only two spots from Oceania remain up for grabs.
The Qantas Men’s Sevens will be in camp at the Sydney Academy of Sport, Narrabeen from 6-9 August. They will then enter a final training camp from 20-24 August prior to the Oceania Sevens Championships.
Over 500 young men and women had the opportunity to show off their skills and athleticism yesterday, as the Australian Rugby Union’s Search for a Star took place across the country looking to identify players who may have the potential to represent their country in Rugby Sevens.