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By ARU Media Unit
The Australian Rugby Sevens teams have completed their first Australian Youth Olympic Festival campaign successfully with the Australian women’s team becoming Gold Medal Champions and the Australian men’s side winning the silver medal at St Ignatius College Riverview on Saturday.
The victorious progression of both the men’s and women’s Australian teams during Rugby Sevens’ debut at an Olympic tournament took place in much cooler conditions than yesterday’s heatwave on Day 1.
Australia’s men’s side started the final day triumphantly with a convincing 64 – 0 win over China in the first medal qualification game, scoring ten tries and seven successful conversions.
It was a closely contested match in the men’s second semi-final against Tonga, but the Aussie side remained dominant with 19 points to nil at half-time before taking the win by 47 - 5 to gain their spot in the gold medal playoff.
Australia’s women’s team also came out strong on Day 2 with a 38 – 7 win over South Africa in the first Semi-final. The victory, which saw Australia score the first six tries to South Africa’s one, effectively secured their place in the gold medal playoff.
The onset of wet weather failed to rain on the Australian women’s parade with Tiana Penitani, Charlotte Caslick and Natahlia Moors (2) all crossing the line for tries in the first half of their gold medal playoff match against China.
Successful conversions from Brooke Anderson and Brooke Walker throughout the match, plus a further two tries from Emma Tonegato in the second half sealed the Aussie women’s 40 – 0 gold medal victory.
In the final match of the day it was the Australian men’s turn to fight for the gold against an imposing South African outfit.
South Africa scored all points in the first half of the game following a yellow card to Australia’s Brad Wilkin. Harry Jones crossed over for Australia’s only try of the gold medal playoff in the second half with Guy Hamilton, who continued to impress with the boot on Day 2, scoring the successful conversion.
The Australian men’s team became the silver medal winners after being defeated by South Africa 22 – 7 by the final siren.
Japan took the bronze medal in the women’s after beating South Africa 27 – 0, while Tonga was awarded bronze in the men’s after their resounding win over Japan by 26 points to 0.
Rugby Sevens is one of 17 sports at the 2013 Australian Youth Olympic Festival taking place in Sydney from 16 - 20 January.
The Australian Youth Olympic Festival takes place every four years and features 17 sports, with Rugby Sevens enjoying its first year of competition this year.
The Rugby Sevens tournament featured eight nations on both the men’s and the women’s side of the competition with a total 192 athletes who travelled to Sydney for the event.
Australian Youth Olympic Festival men’s Sevens squad
Westfield Sports High School
St. Gregory’s College, Campbelltown
Whitebridge High School
Brisbane Boys College
Keebra Park High School
The Kings School
St. Joseph’s College, Nudgee
Westall Secondary College
Australian Youth Olympic Festival women’s Sevens squad
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.