Series champions Australia second in Clermont

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

They secured the World Series title earlier in the day but Australia couldn't quite clinch the Cup in Clermont, finshing second to Canada.

Canada jumped out to an early lead, with two quick tries, and that proved the difference in Australia's 29-19 loss.

The result of that final mattered little in the overall standings, with a 35-0 Cup quarter-final giving the Australia its first World Series title, taking it off New Zealand for the first time since the competition's inception.

While the victory only qualified them for the Cup semi-final in France, assurance of a top four finish meant their World Series lead was unassailable.

After that quarter-final win, the Aussies edged their way past New Zealand in a low scoring 14-5 affair.

Tries to Shannon Parry and Emilee Cherry secured a chance to claim the side's fourth title in five 2015-16 tournaments, against the Canadians.

It wasn't to be, but they had plenty to celebrate after the final siren, with their own slice of history locked down.

Australia coach Tim Walsh said the tournament result was bittersweet after finally claiming the overall series trophy.

"To come out on top in the World Series is an extraordinary effort and we have so much to be proud of this season," he said.

"Defence wins championships and up to that last game we had been fantastic all year. 

"It's a bit bittersweet I guess as we just didn't perform in that Cup Final and Canada ran out worthy winners.

Walsh said his side's defence lacked in the Cup decider but was pragmatic about the result.

"If you don't make tackles you don't win games and it certainly wasn't our greatest defensive effort.

"It wasn't a case of us not being up for it - every time we pull on the jersey we are up for it - but it wasn't our game this time around. We'll learn from it."

Australia now turns its focus to the Rio Olympics, on August 6-8 and Walsh said they would be ready to ramp up preparations from now on in. 

"This group of players are continually challenging themselves and we'll be working hard to improve when we get back to training at Narrabeen next week.

"We have a big few months ahead and it's a challenge that is exciting for everyone."