Canada pip Aussie Women's Sevens at the death to take Amsterdam title

by staff

A try in the final 30 seconds has seen the Qantas Australian Women's Sevens team beaten in the Cup Final at the Amsterdam Sevens.

Australia comfortably saw off Russia (31-0) in the Cup Quarter-Finals and then got the better of England (26-0) in the Semi's before Cup Final heartbreak against Canada (20-17).

Qantas Australian Women's Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: "The last couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions. The highs of winning in London and qualifying for the Olympics but then losing the Final like that stings. The girls are so disappointed, but we will learn from that.

"We've won in quite a few different ways this weekend in Amsterdam and adapted so well. The competition is so fierce now that you need to plan for every eventuality - dry weather, wet weather, opposition style, and so on.

"Sharni Williams has been spectacular for us in the last few weeks while Emma Tonegato is simply a world-class player who proved that again in Amsterdam. There were some really good positives. To try and go back-to-back is very tough and we so nearly achieved it.

"It's been an outstanding season for the team, a growth year for us. We've had to contend with disappointments of the tournaments in Canada and the USA, but all athletes in sport suffer setbacks and we've come back stronger for it. We've a young squad and we are excited what the future holds over the next 15 months in the lead up to the Rio Olympics."

There were five different try scorers on show as Australia took Russia apart in the Cup Quarter-Final. Emma Tonegato opened the scoring for the women in gold after a period of patient possession before Charlotte Caslick spotted a gap in the Russian defence to extend her sides advantage. Despite completely dominating the first half, the game was still in the balance but was put to bed early in the second stanza when Evania Pelite picked up a loose ball to race clear. Ellia Green, on as a second half replacement, scored her 25th try of the season with Nicole Beck rounding things off after the full-time siren.

In the Cup Semi-Final against England, the Aussies put on arguably their most complete performance of the season. In a tense first half England, as expected, came quickly out of the blocks and immediately put the Australian try-line under threat. After seeing off the danger, the women in gold worked themselves up the field and Shannon Parry eventually powered over the line. Seconds later, quick feet from Emma Tonegato saw her dissect the English defence and streak clear to extends Australia's lead. The classy Emilee Cherry added a third before Evania Pelite ran from an outside centre position to pierce a gap in England's defence and put the seal on a thoroughly convincing display.

In an epic Cup Final which saw the lead change hands no fewer than seven times, Canada's Ghislane Landry stole the game after picking up on a loose ball in her own half to stride clear and turn the tables on an Australia side that did the same to the same opponents last week in London. Sharni Williams and Emma Tonegato (2) scored for the Australians but Karen Paquin (2), Magali Harvey and Landry all replied to give Canada their first-ever Women's Sevens World Series leg victory.

Elsewhere, New Zealand were confirmed as 2014/15 Women's Sevens World Series champions for a third time in succession, while England secured the fourth automatic Olympic qualification spot with a nail-biting victory over the USA in the winner-takes-all 3rd/4th Place Play-Off.

The Women's Sevens team yesterday confirmed its spot in the Rio 2016 Olympics, becoming the first Australian team in any sport to do so. Tim Walsh's side finish the 2014/15 Women's Sevens World Series season in third position, two points behind Canada.

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens results in Amsterdam, Netherlands, 22-24 May:

Australia 29-7 Russia, Pool B

Australia 48-0 China, Pool B

Australia 24-7 England, Pool B

Australia 31-0 Russia, Cup Quarter-Final

Australia 26-0 England, Cup Semi-Final

Australia 17-20 Canada, Cup Final

Final placings for the Amsterdam Sevens (Top 6): 1. Canada (20 World Series points), 2. Australia (18 points), 3. England (16 points), 4. USA (14 points), 5. New Zealand (12 points), 6. France (10 points)

Final standings in the 2014/15 World Rugby Women's Sevens World Series (top 6): 1. New Zealand (108 World Series points), 2. Canada (96 points), 3. Australia (94 points), 4. England (76 points), 5. USA (76 points), 6. France (72 points)