The Qantas Australian Women's Sevens team has finished seventh at the inaugural Canada Sevens after suffering two defeats from three games on Finals Day in Langford, British Columbia.
Australia were knocked out of the Cup competition at the Quarter-Final stage after losing to Russia (17-12), before falling to the USA (29-10) in the Plate Semi-Final. Fiji (22-0) were accounted for in the 7th/8th Place Play-Off as the green and gold took eight World Series points away from a packed Westhills Stadium.
Head Coach Tim Walsh said: "It goes without saying that we're all bitterly disappointed. The most common aspect of our game that let us down is the ruck area. It is something that we need to get right if we are to contest for Cups in London and Amsterdam. Teams are piling in numbers in the ruck and we have to work how we deal with that.
"I still believe we're one of the most skilful teams in the World Series, but in order to play our game we need the ball. We have three weeks back in Narrabeen and the ruck area as well as our ball retention will be an area of focus."
In the Cup Quarter-Final against Russia, Ellia Green got Australia off to the perfect start scoring in the opening minute. However, the Aussies couldn't repel the power from a strong Russian outfit as tries from Mariia Titova, Nadezda Kudinova and Alena Bogacheva gave the Europeans a 17-5 advantage. Shannon Parry crossed over late on after a patient period of possession but it proved in vain as Australia slipped to defeat.
Australia came up against a red-hot USA side in the Plate Semi-Final. The Eagles proved too good as a hat-trick from Victoria Folayan and a Lauren Doyle double saw off an Australian side minus the injured Amy Turner. Ellia Green and Charlotte Caslick reduced the arrears late on but it proved no more than a consolation.
In the 7th/8th Place Play-Off against an unpredictable Fijian side, tries from Ellia Green, Sharni Williams, a long-range effort from Tiana Penitani and Nicole Beck after the siren were enough to see off the islanders and bank crucial World Series points.
Lightning winger Ellia Green was rewarded for her stellar weekend on the wing - which saw her score 10 tries - with a spot in the Canada Sevens Dream Team.
Elsewhere at the Canada Sevens, New Zealand won its fourth tournament of the season, beating fast-improving Russia in the Cup Final (29-10). England finished third after seeing off France (19-7) while the USA defeated tournament hosts Canada (19-12) to take fifth spot and the Plate trophy.
With two rounds of the 2014-15 Women's Sevens World Series remaining, Australia has dropped to third in the overall standings behind New Zealand and Canada. With the top four countries securing automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the next round of the World Series heads to London next month on the weekend of 15-16 May before finishing in Amsterdam a week later.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens results in Langford, Canada, 19-20 April:
Australia 43-0 Brazil, Pool B
Australia 40-0 China, Pool B
Australia 24-5 France, Pool B
Australia 12-17 Russia, Cup Quarter-Final
Australia 10-29 USA, Plate Semi-Final
Australia 22-0 Fiji, 7th/8th Place Play-Off
Final placings for the Canada Sevens (Top 8): 1. New Zealand (20 World Series points), 2. Russia (18 points), 3. England (16 points), 4. France (14 points), 5. USA (12 points), 6. Canada (10 points), 7. Australia (8 points), 8. Fiji (6 points)
Current standings in the 2014/15 World Rugby Women's Sevens World Series (top 6): 1. New Zealand (80 World Series points), 2. Canada (58 points), 3. Australia (56 points), 4. France (52 points), 5. USA (48 points), 5. England (48 points)