Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh refused to be too downcast after a narrow loss to Canada saw his side qualify for the Cup Quarter-Finals in second spot at the IRB Women Sevens World Series in Atlanta.
“Bearing in mind our own high standards, it wasn’t the greatest of days, but with every game we improved on the last performance,” said Tim.
“Our attention to detail in certain aspects is what let us down. We created plenty of opportunities against Canada but just could not capitalise.”
He added: “However, we all know that the second day is the one that really counts and a win first up against the English would be a great way to set up Finals day.”
Walsh’s side got their bid for a second straight title off to a solid start after holding China and tournament hosts United States scoreless in their first two games.
Emilee Cherry’s quick-fire double – the first after just 37 seconds – and further tries from Ellia Green, Alicia Quirk and Charlotte Caslick helped the Aussie’s rack up a 31-0 victory.
It was a tighter affair against a competitive US side, but tries from Saofaiga Saemo, Cherry and Caslick sealed a relatively comfortable 17-0 win.
In the third and final group, Australia’s winning run came to an end after Canada snatched a somewhat fortuitous win over the Dubai Cup winners.
In what was easily the most intense game of the first day’s play, Canada got off to a flying start when Bianca Farella crossed over in the opening minute. Only an incredible defensive effort from Canada held out the Aussies, but the pressure finally told when Alicia Quirk levelled proceedings early in the second period after expertly dissecting a gap in the defensive line.
Canada snatched the points – and a 12-7 win - midway through the second half to top Pool A when Mandy Marchak was controversially awarded a try by referee Leah Berard despite TV replays showing the ball being grounded a yard from the line.
Despite the loss, Australia progress to the Cup Quarter-Finals where they meet the old enemy, England, at 4.22am (AEDT) on Monday morning. Forward Shannon Parry is relishing the game: “There were plenty of positives to take away from today. We just need to recover well tonight and get ready for tomorrow’s game in the Quarter-Final.”
All matches from the IRB Women Sevens World Series are streamed at wsws.irb.com.