Macquarie Uni 7s Day One: UQ, Bond top pools

Uni 7s
by Sam Phillips

Day one of the Macquarie University leg of the Aon Uni 7s series is in the books.

There were two thrilling draws amongst a series of superb matches to open the tournament, with a logjam atop both pools ahead of day two.

Here's who will play who tomorrow, with the first fifth place playoff semi final kicking off at 10:40am.

10:40am - University of Tasmania v University of Adelaide - 5th place playoff semi final

11:00am - University of New England v University of Canberra - 5th place playoff semi final

11:20am - Griffith University v Bond University - semi final

11:40am - University of Queensland v Macquarie University - semi final

12:30pm - 7th place playoff

12:50pm - 5th place playoff

1:10pm - 3rd place playoff

1:30pm - Final

3pm - NRC - Sydney Rays v Greater Sydney Rams

3:20pm - University of Adelaide 22 University of Canberra 20

Cassandra Staples opened the scoring for Canberra, dodging the tackle of Australian Sevens teammate Vani Pelite and crossing in the corner.

Mahalia Murphy responded in resounding fashion, running over the top of a number of Canberra defenders and capping off her Uni 7s debut with a try.Mahalia Murphy and Adelaide notched their first win of the tournament this afternoon. Photo: WatsonCanberra bounced back with another try through Darcy Read, but a second failed conversion in a row left the score at 10-5.

Read bagged her first half double as the siren rang out, capping off some nice work from her teammates to secure the ball back off the kickoff.

Eva Karpani started the second half in dream form for Adelaide, running over the top of more flimsy Canberra defence and progressing to the try line untouched to bring the score back to 15-12.

Abby Gustaitis gave Canberra some more breathing room, extending her side’s lead to 20-12 with two minutes to play.

Adelaide struck back to stay in touch soon after, Karpani replicating her first half efforts to catch a pass and bolt to the line to bring the lead back to three.

With 10 seconds to go, Pelite got her revenge on Staples, the latter knocking on and Pelite crossing off the resulting scrum to give Adelaide the win.

3pm - Bond University 17 Macquarie University 17

Botille Vette-Walsh crossed for the first try of the match that would decide the winner of Pool B, with both teams undefeated ahead of this clash.

A heads-up tap-and-go play from Australian Sevens star Charlotte Caslick levelled the scores, with Brooke Walker’s conversion putting Bond in front.

Bond nearly had another on halftime, with some nice interplay between the Queenslanders brought back for a forward pass from Caslick.Charlotte Caslick showed her class in a superb performance against Macquarie. Photo: WatsonA charged-down quick from Macquarie led to a half time lead for Bond, Katie Heffernan crossing as the half time siren sounded.

Macquarie hit back immediately to open the second half, a spectacular effort down the sideline from Olivia Brooks narrowing the gap to 12-10, with the conversion missing.

A failed kick and chase from Macquarie was swooped on by Bond, who moved it to the openside of the field for Walker to score what looked to be the sealer, with Caslick in the sin bin.

But with one final play allowed by the referee, Macquarie went the length of the field to score through Brooks, who lulled the defence into a false sense of security in the in goal before darting to her left to allow for an easier conversion, Dalton doing the rest and securing a 17-all draw.

2:40pm - University of New England 35 University of Tasmania 10

Kim Resch got the game started with a bang for New England, returning the kickoff for a try in the first 60 seconds.

Resch’s opposite number, Lauren Murty, responded for Tasmania shortly after, burning a number of defenders on the outside and scoring in the corner.

Rhiannon Byers did likewise for the next score of the match, beating a handful of defenders with her speed and scoring in the corner to put New England up 14-5.

Mel Howard added some breathing space soon after, crossing under the posts and leaving a relatively simple conversion to leave the score at 21-5 heading into the break.

Tasmania opened the scoring after the break, Shanice Parker flying down the touchline and sending Murty in under the posts with a perfect pass to bring her side within two tries.

Parker provided another moment of brilliance shortly after, dragging down Hannah Southwell short of the line and drawing a penalty.

The joy was short lived for Tasmania, though, with Mel Howard running in her second of the match to extend the score to 28-10 with two minutes to play.

New England would add one more before fulltime through Abby Schmiedel, crossing on the siren.

2:20pm - University of Queensland 21 Griffith University 10

Both teams enjoyed their fair share of possession in the opening exchanges and both sides crossed before a tight tussle ensued for the remainder of the first term.

Emilee Cherry broke that deadlock with a brilliant run from 60 out, taking the ball under the posts to open up a 14-5 lead at the break.

Cherry scored another in identical fashion to put UQ up 21-5 early in the first , Griffith unable to combat her turn of foot and powerful fend.

Alysia Lefau Fakaosilea has starred for Griffith all day and she scored the try on the final siren but it wasn't enough, as UQ topped Pool A.

1:20pm - Bond University 28 University of Adelaide 5

Brilliant teamwork and passing skills netted Bond their first try of the match through Irish international Stacey Flood.

Bond increased their lead to 12 when Brooke Walker slipped through a fractured Adelaide defensive line to score.Bond are on top of Pool B. Photo: WatsonHayley Butterworth almost had Bond’s third try of the half before she was sensationally stopped in the act of scoring by Australian Sevens star Vani Pelite.

Butterworth atoned for her miss in fairly swift fashion, crossing off a scrum move on halftime to extend the lead to 21-0.

Adelaide grabbed their first try with four minutes remaining in the match, Eva Karpani capping off a handy shift for her side with a five pointer in the corner.

Claire Boles added another try for Bond, opening up an unassailable 28-5 lead with two minutes remaining in the match, a score that would not added to by the end of play.

1pm - Macquarie University 10 University of Canberra 5

Canberra flew out of the gates full of energy, putting on a number of big hits, their defensive ingenuity earning themselves the opening try of the match through Cassie Staples.

Macquarie blew a chance to answer back with their first try of the match, captain Emily Chancellor putting the ball on the toe and almost re-gathering in the in goal before a brilliant defensive effort from Canberra put a stop the potential score.Brittney Vanderhart and the Rays are well placed in Pool B. Photo: WatsonMacquarie did likewise, when Yasmin Meakes made a break for Canberra with 30 seconds remaining in the half before being dragged down short of the line by an airborne Dominique du Toit.

Macquarie then picked off an intercept and found du Toit, who beat multiple defenders to the corner to score, suffering a head knock in the process.

The Rays then added another to go ahead 10-5, Olivia Brooks crossing in the corner after a crisp passing chain from her teammates opened up acres of space.

Canberra had one final chance to steal the match, with Brooks again coming up big for Macquarie, stopping a pass that would’ve almost certainly resulted in a try.

12:40pm - University of Queensland 28 University of Tasmania 5

UTAS hit the scoreboard first, Australian Sevens star Shanice Parker crossing off a set scrum pay.

UQ hit back shortly after, a brilliant ball for Georgia Hannaway putting her in under the posts, opening up a 7-5 lead.UQ are yet to drop a game all series. Photo: WatsonUQ had a chance to extend their lead right on halftime, Emma Sykes grubbering for herself but fumbling the ball after an unfriendly bounce off the post.

After a fairly even start to the second half, Sarafina Vosuqa crossed to extend the Red Heavies’ lead to nine, Tasmania needing the next try to stay in it.

Despite a valiant defensive effort from Tasmania, UQ wrapped the match up with a barnstorming try from the impressive Grace Kaihau, the score 21-5.

The Red Heavies added one final try on the siren, Hannaway running through a gaping hole in Tasmania’s defence for her second of the match.

12:20pm - Griffith University 19 University of New England 19

Griffith controlled possession early and drew first blood through Samantha Treherne but UNE hit back, Kim Resch strolling over for her second of the afternoon.

That levelled the scores at 7-all but Resch, who has starred for UNE today, split the line with a slalom type run, beating the final defender to score from 40 out and put UNE in front at the break, 14-7.

Alicia Quirk steered UNE with class all afternoon as chief playmaker but she took matters into her own hands halfway through the second term, fighting through some willing Griffith defence to open up a 19-7 lead.

Griffith immediately answered back, Ellen Field dotting down to set up a grandstand finish, UNE clinging to a 19-12 lead.

Quirk was sent to the bin as UNE scrambled to stay in front and Fakaosilea scored to level the score at 19-all when the full time siren sounded.

11:20am - Macquarie University 31 University of Adelaide 5

Chloe Dalton and the Rays are crowd favourites in Sydney. Photo: WatsonMacquarie University are, naturally, the crowd favourites today and they did not disappoint in their opening match.

Aussie Sevens star Dom Du Toit had Adelaide in the palm of her hands in the first half, putting Macquarie over three times to open up a 21-0 half time lead.

It was Du Toit that set up Macquarie's fourth before Mahalia Murphy was robbed of a breathtaking try, pinged for not releasing when she didn't appear to be held.

Macquarie couldn't keep the Aussie Sevens and Wallaroos winger out for long, though, a brilliant ball from Vani Pelite putting Murphy over for Adelaide's only five pointer of the match.

The Rays would have the last laugh, Bo Vette-Walsh crossing to seal the result.

11am - Bond University 25 University of Canberra 12

Bond’s first use of the ball resulted in a try to Hayley Butterworth after some nice build-up phases.

Charlotte Caslick showed her quality with one of her first touches of the ball, beating multiple defenders and crossing in the corner to open up a 12-0 lead.

Canberra enjoyed ball in Bond’s half multiples times in the first period, but struggled to penetrate the defensive line until a break from Yasmin Meakes on halftime brought the score to 12-7.UC couldn't go with Bond in their opener. Photo: WatsonCanberra hit the lead the scores with their first use after halftime, Ema Masi receiving the ball out wide and beating two defenders to the line.

Bond poked their noses back in front when Jessika Elliston tiptoed her way down the sideline, somehow staying in while beating multiple defenders, before two late tries sealed the result.

10:40am - Griffith University 39 University of Tasmania 10

Griffith came flying out of the gates and crossed twice inside the opening three minutes, Lauren Brown crossing before Alysia Lefau Fakaosilea's showed her trademark turn of foot to slice through for her team's second.

Griffith were exploiting UTAS on the fringes of their defence and that's where Fakaosilea found space to cross for her second of the day.Griffith Uni are on the board at Macquarie. Photo: WatsonFakaosilea had a hat trick in the first half from the next kickoff, Brown showing great hands in cleaning up a loose ball, drawing a defender and finding the unmarked Fakaosilea to set up the five pointer.

Sam Treherne added her name to the scoresheet as the half time siren sounded, opening up a huge 27-0 lead at the break.

UTAS speedster Kiki Morgan had barely touched the ball in the first term but she found some space early in the second half and made Griffith pay, setting off from 50 out to score her team's first for the day.

Griffith immediately responded, before Shanice Parker showed superb initiative to grubber through for herself, gathering the ball over the line to score her team's second.

Eseta Aho Fangaloka had the final say, though, rounding out a big win for Griffith in their opener.

10:20am - University of Queensland 22 University of New England 15

UQ set out from where they left off in Launceston, Mackenzie Sadler scoring in the opening minute with a brilliant 80 metre, individual effort.

Emma Sykes matched Sadler's effort, brushing two attempted tackles en route to UQ's second.Emma Sykes and UQ were given a scare by UNE. Photo: WatsonGraice Kaihau then crossed to add UQ's third, right on the half time siren, opening up a 17-0 break.UNE responded after the break, Kim Resch slicing through a scrambling UQ line to add some intrigue.

Kate Gilbert made it two tries in as many minutes for the underdogs, setting up a grandstand finish.

Gilbert crossed again for UNE, as they continued to set up camp inside the UQ half but on cue, Emilee Cherry scored a 70m individual effort to seal the result.

9:55am - Welcome!

Hello and welcome to the second leg of the inaugural Uni 7s series!

The first match of the day, between reigning champs UQ and the University of New England, is about to get underway.

Stay tuned for running updates, while watching all the action in the stream above.

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