Chasing pack must lift: Walsh

Uni 7s
by Tim Walsh

This weekend's tournament provides challenges for each of the eight teams but for each team, those challenges come on different fronts.

In my eyes, a clear top four has emerged, with UQ and Bond leading that four, followed by Macquarie and Griffith.

That quartet have finished in the top four spots in the opening two rounds but more importantly, they have played a higher level of rugby over the four days of play to date.

In attack, they are able to repeatedly string together four to five phases and any Sevens side that can do that is going to score points.

They respect the ball when they have it and they are being rewarded with scoreboard pressure.

In defence, they are willing to go the extra mile to make that cover tackle but more importantly, their defensive line is almost always well spaced and well organised.

When you can score points with relative ease - as these sides have - and combine that with committed, organised defensive work, you are going to be tough to stop.

The chasing pack haven't been able to produce on either side of the ball on a consistent basis and that's where the gulf in class has emerged.

The overall standard is on the up but the responsibility sits squarely with the four teams in the bottom half of the series ladder to lift again and push the semi finalists out of their comfort zones over the next two days.

While we're on the topic of comfort zones, there will be some testing times for the girls this weekend, as they back up just six days after playing their final matches at Macquarie.

There will be tired bodies on Saturday and that means Sunday will require the teams in the finish to push through the pain barrier if they are to achieve the success they desire.

We will be keeping a close eye on the girls that are able to perform under physical and mental pressure over the weekend.

On that front, there were a few more girls that caught our eye in Macquarie and we can't wait to see if they can back it up at UQ.

One strong tournament can be an anomaly, after all, and we are on the lookout for girls that can put strong performances on the park, week after week.

That is a challenge in itself but based on what we have seen to date, there are few girls eager to take that challenge head on.