Australia clinical in Olympic debut

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by Chris Ford

Australia have opened their Olympic account in a clinical 53-0 win over Colombia at Deodoro Stadium in Rio's northwest.

The women raced out to a 27-0 lead at half-time before putting the foot down in the second half with Charlotte Caslick grabbing a hat-trick while Nicole Beck got a double in the nine try win.

Emilee Cherry was a surprise inclusion in the starting seven after battling a hamstring injury midweek.

Australia got out to an early lead with co-captain Sharni Williams scoring within 90 seconds.Nicole Beck came off the bench to grab a double. Photo: AFP

In a ruthless kicking display, Chloe Dalton's pinpoint accuracy didn't give Colombia a chance to enter the game as Charlotte Caslick split through the middle to take the margin to 12-0.

The points continued to flow with Emma Tonegato and Shannon Parry pushing the margin to 27 points after the first seven minutes.

Nicole Beck came off the bench in the second half to grab a brace while Amy Turner made up for an earlier knock-on to tear Colombia's defence apart and dot down. 

Australia next face Fiji at 7.30am AEST to wrap up day one of competition in Rio de Janeiro. 

“It’s great to get a hat-trick but I think I’m just the lucky one who just has the easy job of finishing. It’s nice and hot out here which suits us but the girls played really well out there but we all know this is just the start," Charlotte Caslick said.

“Fiji will be a hard side to break down and will be on a high after beating the USA. It won’t be easy and we respect them hugely.”

Fiji accounted for fellow Pool A counterparts USA in a grinding 12-7 win, while New Zealand showed their Gold medal credentials in a big 52-0 win over Kenya in the second game of the Olympic competition. 

Final score: Australia 53 (T: Williams, Caslick 3, Tonegato, Parry, Beck 2, Turner. C: Dalton 3, Etheridge 1) Colombia 0