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By ARU Media Unit
The Qantas Women’s Sevens’ undefeated at the Hong Kong Sevens has come to an end following a 29-0 defeat to Canada in the Cup final on Friday.
Playing at Hong Kong Stadium on Friday night, the Australian women were outmatched by the Canadians, who ran in five tries and defended fiercely to deny the Australians.
Qantas Women’s Sevens coach Chris Lane said while he was disappointed with the result, it was another experience-building opportunity.
“I’m not happy with the result but there are positives to take out of it,” Lane said.
“This was always the warm up for the next round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series and at the end of the day we’ve got a healthy team that’s better for the experience.”
Lane said his team was dominated physically by the Canadians, who denied his side possession to control the contest.
“Canada were just too good, they were too physical and it was their day,” Lane said.
“We just couldn’t get our hands on the ball, they dominated the contact zone and scored tries.
“We’ll pick ourselves up. I was happy with the girls to get to the final and this is a lesson for us. This is a lesson for next week and a lesson for the World Cup in June. We know what we have to work on.”
The Australians found themselves chasing a 19-0 deficit at half time after Canada ran in three tries to none in the opening stanza. A further two tries in the second half sealed the win for the North Americans.
The Qantas Women’s Sevens had an undefeated run to the Cup final in the one day non-IRB sanctioned event, with wins over an International Select side, Kazakhstan and Netherlands.
The Australian women had a comfortable run through pool play, beating International Select 42-0 in their opening match before defeating Kazakhstan 19-12.
Debutants Tiana Penitani (2) and Brooke Anderson notched their first tries for Australia against International Select, along with Ellia Green, Iliseva Batibasaga and Cobie-Jane Morgan.
Morgan added six conversions in their first pool match.
Captain Rebecca Tavo announced her return to international Sevens with a try against Kazakhstan, along with Green and Nicki Etheridge. Morgan added two conversions.
They then met Netherlands in the Cup semifinal, with solid defensive pressure forcing errors from the Dutch women and earning the Australians a 17-5 win to send them to the Cup final.
Australia’s tries were scored by Shontelle Stowers (2) and Morgan, who added a single conversion.
Also in Australian Sevens news, the Qantas Men’s Sevens lost their first pool match of the HSBC Sevens World Series event in Hong Kong 19-14 to Wales. Australia’s Lewis Holland scored both his side’s tries, with James Stannard kicking both conversions.
The Australian men return to action Saturday 23 March, when they face South Africa at 4:46pm (AEST) on and Argentina at 8:26pm (AEST).
The Qantas Women’s Sevens will now travel to Guangzhou, China, for the third round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series on 30-31 March.
View the bios for the Qantas Women’s Sevens squad for Hong Kong/China
Qantas Women’s Sevens Hong Kong/China squad
Based (originally from)
Rebecca Tavo (C)
Brisbane, QLD (Port Hedland, WA)
Brisbane, QLD (Canberra, ACT)
Lane Cove, NSW
Brisbane, QLD (Toowoomba, QLD)
West Ryde, NSW
Tiana Penitani (debut)
Natasha Haines (debut)
Perth, WA (Melbourne, VIC)
Brisbane, QLD, (Erina, NSW)
Brooke Anderson (debut)
Brighton Le Sands, NSW
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.