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By ARU Media Unit
The Qantas Women’s Sevens have settled into Houston, USA, ahead of the second round of the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series.
The Australians will enter the tournament ranked fourth on the World Series standings, following a 17-5 loss to Spain in the third-fourth playoff in Dubai late last year.
With an eye to improving their standing in the World Series, Qantas Women’s Sevens coach Chris Lane said his team’s focus was on consistency in Houston.
“We’re playing consistently, but now we just need to break consistently into those top two spots,” Lane said.
“Our season is all about continued improvement and depth, we’re building to the World Cup and every tournament helps.”
Although ranked fourth overall, the Qantas Women’s Sevens are seeded first in their pool, where they fill face Russia (5), Brazil (12) and Japan (unseeded).
“The teams in our pool will give us different styles of play, so we’re going to have to react,” Lane said.
“It’s certainly a tough pool and we’re not taking it lightly.”
The Australian women will face an unknown in Russia, having never played them before in Sevens, but Lane expects a physical encounter.
“It’s good to come up against Russia, someone we haven’t played against,” Lane said.
“We’re going to have to match them physically to win that one.”
They have recent knowledge of the Japanese, having traded results with them during the Asia Pacific Sevens last year. Japan won the first encounter 14-10, before the Australians won the final 36-17.
Their most recent game against Brazil was a 40-0 win during the first-ever Women’s Sevens Challenge Cup in Dubai in 2011.
“We haven’t played Brazil since 2011 and they have improved out of sight since then, so we’re excited by that match up too,” Lane said.
The Houston Sevens runs 1-2 February. The Qantas Women’s Sevens face Japan at 5:04am (AEDT) on 2 February, followed by Brazil at 7:48am and Russia at 10:54am.
Qantas Women’s Sevens for Houston
Sharni Williams (C)
The Australian Women’s Youth Olympic Rugby Sevens team reserved its best performance for the Gold Medal match as they demolished a brave Canadian outfit (38-10) in Nanjing today.