The Australian Women’s Sevens team’s shot at a second straight World Series leg win remains on track, after finishing the pool stages undefeated at the Sao Paulo Sevens.
Australia topped its pool on the first day of the Sao Paulo Sevens, beating Fiji, Canada and Ireland in Brazil, setting up a quarter-final clash with the Fijians on Day Two.
That first match against Fiji proved their closest, with Australia taking a 26-17 win over the Pacific Islanders after doubles to Emilee Cherry and Evania Pelite.
Australia took a more comfortable win in its second match, with a 19-5 win over familiar foes, Ireland.
Just two weeks after taking a clean sweep of their three-match exhibition series, the Aussies claimed another victory over the Irish, with speedster Ellia Green,Gemma Etheridge and Nicole Beck all getting on the scoreboard.
Pelite and Cherry kicked off the tries in their final match, a 29-14 win against Canada.
The Aussies saved their best display of the day until their final period, sealing their win with second-half tries to Green, Charlotte Caslick and stand-in captain Shannon Parry.
It wasn’t all good news for Australia, though, with Taleena Simon ruled out before she could make her World Series debut, suffering a shoulder injury in the warm up.
Their wins mean they face a rematch with Fiji in the Cup quarter-final, vying for a spot in the Cup semi-against one of either the USA or England.
Australia coach Tim Walsh said he was pleased with how the side improved through the day.
“It was a very progressive day and like a good team we turned it on in probably the most important game of the day, that being the last one against Canada,” he said.
“We know Day One is about setting a platform for the business day of the tournament."
While their quarter-final against Fiji will be tightly fought on the field on Monday (AEDT), Walsh said Australia was thinking of the Fijian community as the island nation combats Cyclone Winston.
“We have drawn Fijiana in the Quarter Finals and we will need to be in our best form against a quickly improving and talented team,” he said.
“Tomorrow we go to battle with Fiji but we also send our sympathy and best wishes to all Fijians during this natural disaster.”
Australia takes on Fiji at midnight on Sunday night in the Sao Paulo Sevens Cup quarter-final.
The key finals will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS ONE 501 from 6:30am AEDT, with all games streamed at http://worldrugby.org
DAY ONE RESULTS
Australie 26 def Fiji 27
Australia 19 def Ireland 5
Australia 29 def Canada 14