Aussies claim bronze in San Francisco

Rugby World Cup 7s - Womens
by Sam Phillips

Day two at the Sevens World Cup is in the books and once again, it was a day filled with mixed fortunes for Australia.

The Aussie women claimed bronze after falling to France after the final siren in their semi final, the Aussie men bouncing back to form after a shock loss to the French on day one.

Here's how all the action panned out on Saturday.

2:20pm - New Zealand claim gold

New Zealand have defended their World Cup crown, keeping France scoreless to complete a near perfect tournament.Sarah Goss led New Zealand to another World Cup crown. Photo: WalmsleyMichaela Blyde was the star of the final, nabbing a hat trick in the 29-0 win.

1:25pm - Parry reaction

From devastation to elation, Aussie Sevens co-captain Shannon Parry is proud of the way her side bounced back against the USA.

The Aussies were forced to work for the 24-14 win and it was without doubt their best performance of the tournament.

The breakdown work improved, the attack had more direction and the desperate, scrambling defence held the hometown heroes to two tries.

While they would have preferred to be taking on eventual champions New Zealand in their final match of the weekend, Parry cut a proud figure post match.Shannon Parry and the Australians bounced back in the bronze medal match. Photo: Walmsley“It’s obviously not the game we wanted to be playing in - we wanted to be in the next game - but credit to the girls,” she said.

“We’re proud of the effort, to come away with the bronze after that hiccup against France we really wanted to put on a good performance and I think we did that.

“It is definitely a true test of character when you do lose and you have a key moment and a key match like that.

“To bounce back the way we did - it was very tight through the first half but to then extend our lead in the second half was very pleasing.”

Parry pointed to the motivation provided by the family and friends on deck as the catalyst to the uptick from players across the park.All smiles for the Aussies after beating USA. Photo: Walmsley“There was a lot on the line in that game and I think a lot of the girls have a lot of family and friends here,” she said.

“We really wanted to put in a good performance and that told the tale in the end.

“Obviously we didn’t hit our marks - we wanted to be in that final and play for gold - but to come away with a medal is a very pleasing result for this squad.

“It’s the end of the season now and it’s time to rest, recover and look forward to the Olympic qualifying year, next year.”

1pm - Women’s bronze medal match - USA Australia

Cassie Staples made three huge defensive plays as the USA stormed into the Australian 22 to kick things off, Charlotte Caslick also making several last gasp tackles.

A scrum five out from the Australian line then turned into USA ball but after it was knocked on over the line Vani Pelite set off 90 out from the line, beat two desperate chasers and scored - the fourth time she has crossed first for the first points in this tournament.

Another lost Australian scrum gifted the ball back to the home side and they made the Aussies pay - Naya Tapper stretching out through a Cherry tackle to score level things up at 7-all at the break.Ellia Green starred in the bronze medal match. Photo: WalmsleyPelite forced a turnover from the restart and Caslick made quick work of the tap - dropping Staples off inside to regain the lead.

Ellia Green forced Tapper to drop a ball 15 out from her own line one minute later, the turnover ball swinging back to the right side of the field where Caslick put a pinpoint kick in for the Fijian flyer to open up the lead to 17-7.

Tapper immediately made up for the costly mistake, leaving Demi Hayes clutching at air and running 70 metres to narrow the gap to 17-14.

Green responded with interest and when Cherry slotted the conversion the Australians had a two score lead with one minute to play.

8:30am - Hutchison not happy despite big win

Australia may have crushed Russia in their Challenge Trophy QF but star winger Henry Hutchison said it all came one game too late.

"I think the boys put a better performance in today against Russia but unfortunately for us it came a game too late," Hutchison said.

"We love winning and we are still going to try and finish 9th but we would love to replace how we played there against Russia with how we played yesterday any day of the week."

Hutchison said the first game was too much of a blowout for the Aussies, who ran into a France side brimming with confidence after flogging Jamaica in their qualifier.

"Unfortunately we didn't get enough cobwebs out last night," he said.

"We woke up better, were more composed today but like I said, it's just one game too late."

The Aussies will face Canada in their Challenge Trophy semi final tomorrow at 4:12 am AEST.

8:05am - Men's Challenge Trophy QF - Australia 41 Russia 0

Henry Hutchison started his first match of the tournament and made an immediate impact, juking inside a Russian defender to open the scoring after some nice early touches from John Porch, Lewi Holland and Tom Lucas.

A wayward Russian pass then gifted the Australians a scrum five out from the opposition line, Lucas putting Ben O'Donnell over to open up a 12-0 lead with two to play in the first term.Lewi Holland and the Australians kept Russia scoreless. Photo: WalmsleyJesse Parahi forced a turnover moments later through a neck roll which landed Igor Galinovskiy in the sin bin and from the next phase, Boyd Killingworth and Lucas combined to put Hutchison over for his second.

Liam McNamara cleaned up some crumbs to add his name to the scoresheet when play resumed, a Killingworth turnover turning into Porch points one minute later.

Killingworth went from creator to scorer with one minute remaining before Maurice Longbottom stole five more points at the death, rounding out a comprehensive victory for the Australians.

6:20am - Quirk out of bronze medal match

Alicia Quirk will not play in Australia's bronze medal match, having suffered what is believed to be a knee injury in the loss to France.

Quirk hobbled off with the injury prior to France's match winning try at the death, the second significant Australian injury in the match.

Ellia Green was forced off for a HIA by a World Rugby official two minutes earlier, despite Australia's team doctor declaring her fit to play.

She subsequently passed the test and is fine, according to coach John Manenti, a frustrating facet of his side's loss to France.Alicia Quirk cut a shattered figure post match after injuring her knee. Photo: Walmsley"Obviously a few plans had to go out the window," he said.

We brought Ellia on as an impact player, she had that impact and then a HIA rules her out.

"We had to shuffle the deck a bit then and then, later on, Quirky goes down.

"That's footy and you have to respond to that and make plans around all of those concessions but in big games, those little moments matter."

It was the little moments at the breakdown which cost Australia dearly - unable to budge French defenders who seem to have taken a leaf out of New Zealand's book.

"It's pretty hard to assess that from the sideline but we have to keep working hard at the breakdown and be better at that," Manenti said.Ellia Green was ushered off the field by a World Rugby official. Photo: Walmsley"The French were coming in hard at the ball and we knew they would because they have been doing that all weekend. "It's a work in progress and it's something I think we had improved on.

"Until today I think we had done pretty well."

Attention now turns to a clash with home town heroes USA at 12:22pm AEST, after they gave New Zealand an almighty scare in their semi final.

"We're just going to keep working hard, go back to the drawing board and keep improving," Manenti said.

"We have a long break over the next few hours, analyse who comes next and go from there."

5:35am - Manenti rues missed opportunities

See what coach John Manenti had to say after his side had a 12-0 half time lead erased by France in heartbreaking fashion.

5:25am - Women's semi final - New Zealand 26 USA 21

New Zealand have staved off home town heroes USA to book their spot in the World Cup final.

They'll face France at 12:47pm AEST, with Australia to meet the US in a bronze medal match at 12:22pm AEST.

5:05am - Women's semi final - France 19 Australia 12

After a deep Sharni Williams kickoff to get proceedings underway Alicia Quirk stole a French lineout, Vani Pelite splitting the line from 30 out with the turnover ball to score.

Marjorie Mayans was then sent to the sin bin for a cynical slap down when Australia threatened to cross once more, Emilee Cherry bundled into touch as the Aussies tried to make the most of the one woman advantage.

A crooked French lineout five out from their own line gifted the ball back, though, Cherry finding Ellia Green out wide to open up a 12-0 lead at the break.

The game kicked up a notch when play resumed, some frantic cover defence from Green stopping a certain try but the ball was recycled and Chloe Pelle beat Williams to the line.

Green was forced off for a HIA and her absence was noted, France taking control of both territory and possession for the remainder of the second term.

Eventually, the pressure told, Fanny Horta diving over next to the posts, the conversion levelling the score at 12-all with one minute to play.

The siren rung out moments later and Anne Cecile Ciofani scored the match winner, Australia knocked out of Cup contention in heartbreaking fashion.

4am - ICYMI, here's our coverage of day one

While we wait for the Aussie women to tackle France in their semi final, you can catch up on how all the action panned out yesterday here.

See what John Manenti had to say after his side booked a semi final berth here and check out what Tim Walsh had to say after his side were sent packing on day one here.

For a full list of fixtures, click here.