Spain claim shock win over Aussies

Womens - Kitakyushu
by Sam Phillips

The Australian Women's Sevens side have suffered their first defeat on the World Series this season, a shock loss to Spain in their final pool match of the day.

The Aussies cruised through their opening pool matches - against China and Ireland - but lost a thrilling clash against Spain at the death.

The loss relegates the Australians to second in their pool, meaning they will face Fiji in a Cup quarter final clash tomorrow at 11:52am AEST.

Here's how all the action panned out.

6:50pm - Manenti reacts to shock loss

See what interim Australian Women's Sevens head coach John Manenti had to say about Australia's shock loss to Spain.

6:25pm - Spain 17 Australia 14

Australia's Cup hopes have been dealt a huge blow, falling to Spain in a shock upset.

The Australians started in style when a strong Dom Du Toit carry set up Demi Hayes for her second try of the day, Sykes slotting the conversion.

Yasmin Meakes added Australia’s next, pumping her legs through contact before stretching out to score.Australia have fallen to Spain in their final pool match. Photo: Getty ImagesBut Spain responded with a determined five pointer of their own as the half time siren sounded, leaving the Australians with just a 14-7 lead at the break.

That was where things started to fall apart, as Elizabet Martinez had a double 90 seconds into the second term.

That left the Aussies with just two points of breathing space and a sloppy restart gave Spain the ball back before they really applied the heat with a three minute peppering of Australia's line.

Desperate defence kept Australia's lead in tact but the pressure eventually told and Maria Rabera scored the winner with 30 seconds to play.

The loss means Australia have slipped to second in their pool and will now play Fiji in a Cup quarter final at 11:52am.

4:30pm - Cherry's call on Aussie win

See what star Aussie centre Emilee Cherry had to say after the Australians breezed past Ireland.

3:40pm - Australia 31 Ireland 0

A superb defensive performance has kept Australia's perfect record in tact in Japan, cruising past Ireland in their second pool match.

Emma Tonegato opened Australia’s account three minutes into the first term, Emilee Cherry throwing a pinpoint pass to put the Aussie flyer in space.Emma Tonegato crossed early against Ireland. Photo: Getty ImagesSykes slotted the conversion from just inside the sideline but Ireland put the pressure on from that point forward, an Alicia Quirk intercept and Vani Pelite tackle keeping the Irish off the scoreboard.

But Ireland regained possession and marched up the field until the Aussies forced a penalty with 20 seconds to play in the first term, Cherry again putting Tonegato before the latter popped the ball back to the former for her first try of the tournament, opening up a 12-0 lead.Alicia Quirk and the Aussie Sevens women are two from two in Japan. Photo: Getty ImagesCherry opened the second term in similar fashion, running 70 metres to touch down after Ireland once again applied pressure in the Australian red zone.

Georgina Friedrichs then put the icing on the cake at the end of a superb chain of passing before Cassie Staples scored as the final siren rung out, securing a big win.

1:20pm - Meakes makes her mark

See what debutant Yasmin Meakes had to say after scoring on debut against China.

12:55pm - Australia 33 China 5

Australia have put together a second half surge to breeze past China in their Kitakyushu 7s opener.

China put up far more of a fight than expected in the first half, with Australia forced to work for their first five pointer two and a half minutes into the match - Emma Sykes splitting the line to score.China put up a fight against Australia in their tournament opener. Photo: Getty ImagesYan Meiling crossed to respond for China before Dom Du Toit split the line from 70 out to give the Aussies a 14-5 half time lead.

Yasmin Meakes entered the fray for her World Series debut and immediately made her mark, touching down before Emma Tonegato followed suit.

The Australians had held their composure and put the result beyond doubt after an early scare, Demi Hayes scoring under the black dot for the sealer.

12:15pm - Warm up in waiting

The Aussies had their traditional slips catching competition to kick the morning off.