Aussie Sevens fall short in Bendigo

by Sam Phillips

The Australian Women's Sevens side have dropped both matches against New Zealand on day three but coach Tim Walsh is only drawing positives from the five match series.

Walsh's side were beaten 26-7 and 28-14, with the last match featuring more of Australia's top line talent, albeit without six regular starters.

But Walsh was clear in his message when speaking post match, telling his side never lose - they win or they learn.

"That's not what this series was about," he said.

"Obviously we are here to win games but this was about seeing what we could get out of different combinations and testing some of the new girls against the world's best.Sharni Williams and the Aussie Sevens side fell short in Bendigo. Photo: ARU Media"The beauty of winning that first game (on day one) was that New Zealand rolled out some of their best players earlier than expected and that allowed us to test the girls.

"It's been a good few days."

The fast twitch fibres that Cassie Staples boasts saw her score a try in both matches, with Emma Sykes also scoring in the fifth match.

It was players like Sykes, who have limited international experience, that will get the most out of the five match series, per Walsh, with the Dubai World Series opener just six weeks away.

"I'm really happy with where we're at," Walsh said.

"Girls like Emma (Sykes) - we get to see what they can do over a full tournament, rather than just a few spurts off the bench.Emma Sykes will take big benefits from the Bendigo series. Photo: ARU Media"Then there was the testing of the girls that we have identified out of Aon (Uni 7s) series, giving them their first crack.

"We will definitely keep them involved all at some level, through different tiers of contracts - because they're all really talented girls."

With the likes of Emma Tonegato, Chloe Dalton, Ellia Green and Emilee Cherry sitting out of this series, Walsh believes his side have shown enough to rise back up the World Series rankings after a 2017 in which they were usurped by the Kiwis.

"We still have five or six girls to come back into the squad," Walsh said.

"We are starting to play some really good footy and that's without those girls.

"It'll be good to get home, assess where we are at with the girls that we have brought in and get back to work."


Game four

Australia 7

Tries: Staples

Cons: Sykes

New Zealand 26

Game five

Australia 14

Tries: Staples, Sykes

Cons: Sykes 2

New Zealand 28