Aussie Sevens teams too strong for Japan in pre-Bledisloe clash

by staff

The Qantas Australian Men's and Women's Sevens side have both their respective clashes against Japan in an entertaining precursor to the Bledisloe Cup blockbuster at ANZ Stadium tonight.

First up, the Australian Women's Sevens team proved too classy for their Japanese counterparts (26-7). The tourists from Asia had the bulk of possession in the opening two minutes of game, however, with their first touch of the ball Emilee Cherry found Charlotte Caslick in her own half. The World Player of the Year nominee raced clear to dot down under the posts. Immediately from the kick-off the ball was worked from the left touch all the way to the right wing where Emma Tonegato was far too quick for the opposition defence.

Cherry eluded the Japanese defence once more to extend the Australians advantage before a neat kick from the same player set Tonegato free for her second of the evening. The second period was a different story with the visitors having all the territory and were rewarded for their efforts with the final play of the game when referee Amy Perrett gave the Japanese team a penalty try after the Aussies infringed at the scrum.

Winger Emma Tonegato said: "After all our hard work in training it's so good to get a run on the park. It was so good to get out there in an amazing stadium like ANZ. For a winger like me, the wide open spaces were fantastic."

In the second game of the day, the Qantas Australian Sevens Men dominated from start to finish as they came away with a 45-0 victory. With Lewis Holland at the heart of all things positive throughout, it was the 22-year-old who broke the deadlock two minutes in. A minute later, Peter Schuster then picked up a loose ball to set Holland free who in turn offloaded to the onrushing Sam Myers to score on the right. Holland scored his second of the evening after the buzzer when he took a quick tap to dot down.

The second half was all one way traffic as Greg Jeloudev and Jesse Parahi both scored in the opening three minutes. New-boy Henry Hutchison danced through the Japanese defence to add another and Parahi scored his second of the night to put a gloss on the final scoreline.

Forward Michael Wells said: "It was our first real hit out after six weeks of training so it was good to get a bit of contact. We've got a big couple of months for the program with Japan training over here before we go to New Zealand and building up to the Central Coast Sevens ahead of the Olympic qualifier."