Aussies down but not out after Canada silver

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Aussie Sevens coach John Manenti was quick to put context around a disappointing Canada Sevens finish, after Australia had a record loss to New Zealand in the final.

Australia suffered a record defeat to New Zealand, losing 46-0 to their fierce rivals, but Manenti said they had to keep it in perspective.

“We were really disappointed after the final,” he said.

“We made lots of good gains through the weekend and played, for most of the tournament, really well. 

“It was disappointing to have an under-par performance in the final but I don’t think it suggests where New Zealand is compared to we are.

“I think the penalty count was heavily in their favour, I’m not saying they weren’t justified at times, it’s just sometimes you get those 50/50 calls that go your way and you get that flow, we just didn’t get many of those.”

Australia and New Zealand during the Canada Sevens final. Photo: WalmsleyThe Aussies were missing Olympians Ellia Green, Sharni Williams and Alicia Quirk, while Evania Pelite and Emilee Cherry battled illness through the weekend, and Manenti said he was pleased with the way the side’s rookies rallied.

“It happens in football from time to time," he said.

"We beat them well in Sydney (31-0), but that didn’t mean we were that far ahead of New Zealand and they went away improved and we're going to go and work on things and improve now.

“I don’t think the scoreline or the margin was indicative of where we’re at along the weekend.

“While you’re winning all the time, you don’t often make changes because you want to keep winning, but in that way these have been really good changes, forced changes, but we’ve been able to blood some new faces.

“That’ll be good for World Cup later in the year, and also looking further to Tokyo in 2020, the foundations laid here are fantastic.”

The Aussie women took silver in Langford. Photo: WalmsleyThe Aussies still hold the overall World Series lead ahead of the final leg in Paris next month,and Manenti was confident they could rebound for that tournament.

“I’m really pleased for all the girls for that matter to contribute," he said.

“Yes, we’re short of our mark (in the final) but we’re only going to do that (develop) by bringing new girls on and working on some areas going forward into Paris, like we worked on some areas coming from Kitakyushu.

“We’ll work on those areas, get some good improvement I think we’ll be in good shape for Paris.”

Manenti is hoping for Williams, Green and Quirk to be back for July’s World Cup.