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Day One of National Women's Sevens Championship delivers thrills and spills

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By ARU Media Unit

The second annual National Women’s Sevens Championship kicked off today at St. Ignatius College, Riverview, in perfect weather conditions for running Rugby.

More than 150 of the nation’s best women’s players arrived at St. Ignatius College to compete in the annual Rugby Sevens tournament, which saw 14 sides split across four Pools.

The 14 teams, which included state teams from across the country, several invitational sides and an international team, were all vying to finish atop their respective Pools to secure a Cup semi-final berth.

Last year’s Champions, Queensland Red, were seeded atop Pool A and managed two wins on the opening days play however it wasn’t enough for them to finish at the top of their Pool.

After winning their opening game of the Championship 26-0 against NSW White the defending Champions fell to ACT, 12-5, in a tough encounter.

Despite winning their final game against Northern Territory it wasn’t enough, as ACT, led by captain and Qantas Women’s Sevens player Sharni Williams, secured top place with three wins from three games against Northern Territory, NSW White and Queensland.

In Pool B Queensland White managed to go one better than their state counterparts in Pool A, securing three wins from their Pool games to finish atop Pool B accounting for NSW Blue, Victoria and South Australia.

Pool C saw the Championships only international team Papua New Guinea pitted against two invitational teams, National Indigenous and Touch Football Australia.

In their first appearance at the National Championships the Touch side made their intentions clear early disposing of National Indigenous 28-14 in their opening match.

With Australian Representatives Alicia Quirk (Qantas Women’s Sevens) and Charlotte Caslick (Australian Youth Olympics) leading the way, Touch Football made it two from two securing an impressive 42-0 win over Papua New Guinea.

Their two wins saw them finish atop Pool C and setup a Cup semi-final match against Queensland White tomorrow.

In Pool D Western Australia was drawn against the other two invitational sides, Barbarians and Australia OzTag.

The West Australians started their campaign impressively securing a 17-7 victory over Barbarians however their hopes of finishing atop Pool D were brought to a sudden holt when OzTag escaped with a 14-12 win.

OzTag then wrapped up a Cup semi-final berth with a 17-0 victory over Barbarians, which will see them meet now Championship favourites ACT tomorrow.

Watching from the sidelines Qantas Women’s Sevens coach, Chris Lane, said the National Women’s Sevens Championships had further opened up selection and competition opportunities for female Rugby players in Australia.

“It’s an exciting time for Women’s Rugby, with 2013 seeing the second Women’s Rugby Sevens World Cup in Moscow,” Lane said.

“The breadth of talent showcased today reflects the growing interest in the game.

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