Women disappointed with their defence in Dubai

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Sloppy defence cost the Aussie Women's Sevens side a title in Dubai, with the reigning champions going down to New Zealand 17-5 in the first tournament final of the 2016-17 World Series.

The women made their way through to the final undefeated but couldn’t get the better of their fierce rivals, who they beat for gold at the Rio Olympics in August.

Head Coach Tim Walsh was frustrated with his side’s missed tackle count, with defence an area that his team prides itself on.

“You can't win games when you miss that many tackles, that's for sure,” Walsh said.

Alicia Quirk in action during the final. Photo: Getty Images“Really disappointing from that point of view. We had some good things through the tournament but that certainly wasn't the case in that last game. “

Walsh said the defeat would only make the side hungrier to make an impact in February’s Sydney Sevens, their next tournament and first World Series outing on home soil.

“We're going to take a lot out of that but it's probably more our determination than anything,” he said.

“The girls and I hate losing and we didn't do ourselves justice (out) there. We went into that game expecting a far better performance and we didn't do it and didn't get the result, justifiably.”

Walsh found some positives in the performance of World Series debutant Emma Sykes, but uncharacteristic mistakes from his more experienced campaigners left the side ruing missed chances.

Co-captain Shannon Parry said the side was bitterly disappointed with the final result.

“We obviously let ourselves down with our defensive stats in both halves, and then we didn’t reclaim the ball and capitalise when we needed to,” she said.

“They [New Zealand] controlled the ball very well and we had a fair few chances in attack with the ball, but we didn’t look after it well enough and our missed tackle count was obviously quite high so that’s something we need to work on.”

New Zealand got one back over the Olympic Champions in Dubai. Photo: Getty Images


Women’s Sevens in Dubai 

Pool Stages 

Australia 38 South Africa 5

Australia 20 Russia 7

Australia 19 USA 10

Cup Quarter-final

Australia 42 France 0

Cup Semi-final

Australia 31 England 10 

Cup Final

Australia 5 New Zealand 17