Field of dreams for Aussie Women

Chris Ford Profile
by Chris Ford

The Deodoro Stadium was one of the last to be built by Games Organisers but Australia think the field perfectly suits their game style. 

There was concern that the temporary stadium in Rio de Janeiro’s northwest wouldn’t be up to scratch after the grass was only laid four months ago. 

“A dry paddock is what we’re all about, using that width so we’ll be out there trying to use that on the weekend,” Women’s co-captain Shannon Parry said.

“It’s a dry and a very hard pitch underfoot so the kickers will be loving that for the ball bounce.”

The stadium, like many of the other Rio 2016 constructions, has been heavily criticised in the lead-up to the Games with organisers cutting the proposed seating capacity.

The Australian Women’s Sevens enjoyed a familiarisation walk-through at the ground on Wednesday, just over 48 hours away from their first game against Columbia.

“It’s very nice out there, it’s got a nice buzz and plenty of colour which gives you a calm feeling,” Parry said. 

“Once that crowd is full it will be insane, they are right there next to the field which is a different sense to what we usually experience.”

The Women to face Columbia, Fiji and USA in Pool A but they have been analysing opponents for the latter stages of the competition.All captain's eyeing Gold in Rio. Photo: Getty Images

“We have prepped for Great Britain, we have prepped for Canada and New Zealand,” Parry said. 

“All those main rivals we think we might cross but Sevens is a funny game and it can go from here to there and something might happen so we have to be prepared.”

Australia Women’s Olympic campaign

Sunday 7 August (2.30am AEST) against Colombia

Sunday 7 August (7.30am AEST) against Fiji

Monday 8 August (2.30am AEST) against USA