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By Community Rugby
Had you been driving past St Ives Village Green in Sydney’s North last week, you would have been lucky enough to see 200 girls playing Sevens rugby; Lucky because the standard was high.
The Sydney North Schoolgirls Sevens Gala Day saw 16 teams from nine schools (listed below) compete in the first of a series of days around the state. The competition was split into three divisions (U14, U16 and U18). It follows last year’s inaugural Gala Day in which over 150 girls from the area participated in Tag Rugby Sevens.
In the U14s final Cromer High School beat Mackellar Girls. In U16s, Ryde Secondary College saw off Barrenjoey High School and in U18s, Mackellar Girls beat Freshwater High School.
For many of the girls, it is the first time they had played Rugby Sevens. A skills and drills clinic was held by ARU Development staff in the morning to assist the girls prior to the competition.
For others, it was the opportunity to showcase their talent for selection into the NSW Schoolgirls Sevens team, which goes onto to compete in the National Schoolgirl Sevens Championships. The day is a key pathway, not only to the Nationals held in October at the Gold Coast as part of the IRB Sevens tournament, but also to the Australian Women’s Sevens team. Tiana Penitani, of South Sydney, who represented NSW at the Nationals last year, now finds herself in China playing for Australia in the inaugural IRB Women’s Sevens World Series and hopeful of an Olympic berth!
Player of the Tournament was awarded for each age-group: