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By ARU Media Unit
The Aussie Pearls (women) and Aussie Thunderbolts (men) domestic Sevens sides have won their respective competitions at the Noosa International Sevens over the weekend.
The Aussie Pearls went undefeated in their competition and fought back from 5-5 early in the final to take a convincing 31-5 win over Sunnybank.
Meanwhile, the Thunderbolts also went undefeated over the course of the two days before claiming a 38-19 victory against Iconz in the championship decider.
Aussie Pearls coach, Chris Lane, said the gamble of playing nine inexperienced players in the squad of 12 paid off.
“We really clicked,” Lane said.
“We got the win but most importantly we exposed fresh faces to Sevens which has helped us continue to add depth to our squad.
“They learnt so much in camp and they’re a great group of girls with a great attitude.
“It’s massive for our depth, so I’m really happy.”
Day one of the tournament saw the Pearls defeat Sunshine Coast 50-0, Toowoomba 24-12 and Highlanders 27-0. Day two started with a 24-12 win over Redlands in the semi-final before defeating Sunnybank in the final.
“We’ve unearthed some new players that have got speed, size and aggression so combined with winning the tournament it was a good weekend,” Lane said.
For Thunderbolts coach Michael O’Connor, the tournament provided many players returning from injury with a tough challenge.
“This weekend has allowed us to firm up selections for the Qantas Men’s Sevens side to play Gold Coast Sevens Fever Pitch this coming weekend,” O’Connor said.
“We struck some quality sides this weekend and really had to push, so it was really satisfying to come away with a tournament win.
“It was great to see our guys in action and to see some other quality players that are out there.”
Day one saw the Thunderbolts beat the Gold Coast Breakers 48-0, Active Life Rehab 50-5 and the West Brisbane Bulldogs 61-5.
On day two, the Thunderbolts defeated Sunshine Coast 64-0 in the quarter-final, then won out against Newstar Sports 26-7 in the semi-final before taking on Iconz in the final.
O’Connor will name the 12-man Qantas Men’s Sevens squad for the opening round of the HSBC Sevens World Series this Wednesday and said the Noosa tournament certainly helped with selections.
“We got to see a lot of players who are returning from injury and everyone put their hand up,” O’Connor said.
“It was satisfying. It was a good tournament for us.”
Aussie Pearls for Noosa Sevens
Aussie Thunderbolts for Noosa Sevens
Qantas Australian Rugby Sevens stars Emilee Cherry and Cameron Clark have been rewarded for their stellar performances throughout their respective 2013/14 seasons after picking up three awards between them at the 2014 John Eales Medal in Sydney.