Uni 7s: Griffith want to complete the Uni 7s set in Brisbane

Uni 7s
by Sarah Friend

Griffith University want to complete their 2018 Aon Uni 7s medal set with their first gold as the series heads to Brisbane this Saturday.

The Brisbane university was the outsider in the Queensland ranks in the first Uni 7s series, with UQ and Bond Uni battling it out for the series title.

Things have changed this year, with Griffith leapfrogging Bond and shaping as a certain top-three team.

In the first two legs, they've collected a bronze and a silver medal to sit third in the overall series standings but there's one more medal they want to have by the end of this year.

Coach Moana Virtue said the team's plan had been to build into the series and if that run continues, a tournament win can't be that far away.

“For us it’s just about sticking it out until the end, as you saw from the first tournament it’s not enough to just kill it in those first round games and the semi-final," she said.

"We really have to put in right till the end.

"We came third in the first tournament, second in the second tournament so for us it’s exactly what we said at the start of the season, that this would all be about progression and we feel like we’re on the right path.”

Griffith, which is aligned with Brisbane club Sunnybank, has had more XVs athletes switching into its ranks than most of the teams and Virtue said extra fitness work was beginning to pay off.

“For the players like Kiri Lingman and Samantha Treherne it’s just that sevens fitness so a couple of them we’re hanging because it’s a lot more quicker and dynamic, a lot more space so that was probably the biggest hurdle trying to get some sevens fitness under their belt,” she said.

The players aren't the only ones who have had to transition from XVs back to Sevens - Virtue is a Wallaroos assistant as well and missed the first Uni 7s leg with the XVs side in Auckland..

One of the trailblazers in female coaching, Griffith captain Lingman said no matter what the format, Virtue had proven herself a successful motivator.

“She has such a unique approach to the game having coached girls before and played," she said.

"She gets it and she gets us and what we’re about.

"I wouldn’t be here today without her."

Treherne's form for Griffith has already been noticed, with the Wallaroos fullback in training with the Aussie 7s in recent weeks after nabbing five tries in one match in the last series leg in Canberra, after returning from Wallaroos duties.

She will miss the Uni 7s in Brisbane this weekend but Griffith would be hoping to have her involved as much as they can as the series reaches its pointy end.

The third Uni 7s leg kicks off on Saturday September 22 at Brisbane's University of Queensland. All games LIVE and FREE from 9am AEST on RUGBY.com.au.