Girls' Sevens Gala Day raises the bar

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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:

·         U14 - Aaliyah Paki - Cromer High School
·         U16 - Angelina Filimoekava - Ryde Secondary College
·         U18 - Crystal Maguire - Mackellar Girls
The Gala Days are running across the state and they offer access to this fast-paced Game plus the opportunity for girls to enter the Pathway to Gold. U16s have the chance to be put on a Talent ID list for future camps and U18s to earn selection into the NSW Schoolgirls team.
Competing schools:
·         Asquith Girls High School
·         Barrenjoey High School
·         Cromer High School
·         Davidson High School
·         Freshwater High School
·         Mackellar Girls
·         Pymble Ladies College
·         Ryde Secondary College
·         St Ives High School
For coverage by the North Shore Times, click here. North Shore Times photo gallery click here
For coverage by the Manly Daily, click here.

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