What an incredible weekend of Rugby Sevens the third round of the Aon Uni7s competition produced with most teams continuing to step up a gear.
The Series leader continues to dominate while the slow starters in the competition have found their groove and impressed many with their improved performances across the park.
1. You can’t keep a good player down
Nicole Beck loves her rugby so much she has bounced back from the birth of her second child this year with a passion and determination that underlines why she is considered one of the best women to have played the sport in Australia over the past decade.
This comeback for Beck is the first step on the road to continuing as a member of the Aussie Sevens team, heading into a very busy 2018 schedule which includes the Commonwealth Games and the Rugby Sevens World Cup – both of which she is keen to be a part of.
2. Challengers stepped into the spotlight
Three of the eight Uni 7s teams finished the Round Three weekend on a high – but they are not from among the top four – and it was more about the improved performances than it was about the final results.
Off the back of Nicole Beck’s efforts, UTAS finished an impressive fifth. The Adelaide Romas also impressed with a strong showing across the weekend despite the sixth place finish.
But perhaps the most impressive of the overall performances was that of the University of Canberra which has finished sixth in both of the first two rounds but ended the Brisbane tournament with a
top four finish.
3. UQ likely to make it a clean sweep
This would seem to be an obvious statement as the University of Queensland is undefeated across the three tournaments played so far in the Series.
Therefore the likelihood of any of the other seven teams affecting a defeat let alone a massive overhaul of its eight point competition lead it highly unlikely.
So it may very well be history in the making if UQ can not only take out the inaugural Aon Uni7s Series but do it untouched by defeat with a clean sweep.
The power and presence of Emilee Cherry as the key factor in the UQ line-up cannot be underestimated although this should not take away from the strong array of local talent in her team
which has shone under her guidance.
4. Opportunity is knocking
The tired bodies that emerged from the weekend in Brisbane are a testament to the tough competition the Uni 7s Series has evolved into.
But the new ‘wannabes’ of women’s rugby have been making the most of this opportunity to show their talent and their potential to the people who matter in the Australian Rugby landscape.
The question which perhaps lingered at the start of this new competition and talent search process was ‘Will we unearth some diamonds?’
Now it is perhaps more a case of ‘How many contracts can we offer?
5. Ellia Green shines in the commentary box
There is no keeping her down – Ellia Green is currently sidelined form active duty undergoing long-term rehab for a knee injury.
But her light is not one to be hidden under a bushel and her stint as a commentator proved she is as multi-talented off the field as on it.
Joining the RUGBY.com.au team in the commentary box for the first time in the Uni 7s Series she made her mark early with strong insight into each game as well as fun-loving jibes about the players.