The Australia's Women's Sevens team kicked off their World Series title defence in style on Sunday in Colorado.
The Aussies were unbeaten after three pool matches against Mexico, Spain and Russia, and accordingly topped their pool.
The first two games were comfortable wins but Russia pushed the Aussies hard, leading 15-0 at halftime before succumbing to the fast finishing women in gold.
“To go through our first two games without conceding a try is a credit to the way we played and how we maintained possession," coach John Manenti said.
“Russia are a quality outfit and forced us into making mistakes early in the match which they capitalised on. I was impressed with how we fought our way back into the game and backed our systems against a very physical team.
“You don’t win championships on day one and we know that the USA will come out firing in their home leg in the Quarter Finals. We need to make sure we are ready for that challenge when we meet them tomorrow.”
Here is how it all unfolded.
10.48am - Australia 21 Russia 15
Australia remained unbeaten on the opening day of the new World Series season after coming from behind to beat Russia in their third pool match in Colorado.
The Aussies trailed 15-0 at halftime after conceding three tries to the combative Russians, and having gone down a player with Dom Du Toit sinbinned.
But the defending series champions got their act together after the break and Vani Pelite twice combined with Ellia Green to help the speedster do her thing and sizzle home for two tries.
The game came down to the last minute and with Australia on attack, Russia lost a player to the sin bin and Charlotte Caslick took full advantage with a quick tap; sending Du Toit over for the match dealer.
Emma Sykes was yet again incredible with her goal-kicking, nailing all three conversions and proving the difference between the two sides.
Tries: Green 2, Du Toit
Cons: Sykes 3
Tries: Seredina 2, Khamidova
8:30am - Australia 40 Spain 0
Samantha Treherne scored a double in her run-on debut to help the Aussies cruise to a 40-0 win over Spain in their second pool game.
Treherne was one of a number of players rotated into the starting line-up for the middle game and she wasted no time getting involved.
The Wallaroo scored in the first minute with only her second touch, when she ran a nice hard line off Charlotte Caslick to break down through the Spanish line.
Australia maintained a dominance of possession and used their skills to find the gaps, and Vani Pelite crossed next, but Spain had a shot at scoring just before the break.
The Aussie defence held firm and any hopes of Spain fighting back were dashed when Ellia Green powered through a bunch of defenders and scored just after halftime.
Dom Du Toit scored another soon after off a loose ball and Treherne bagged her double after that. Yassmin Meakes touched down for a sixth try in the dying stages.
Other positives to note were Emma Sykes' high re-starts, which saw Australian win back possession repeatedly, and the side's defence was noteworthy too. They're yet to concede a point.
Tries: Treherne 2, Pelite, Green, DuToit, Meakes
Cons: Sykes 5
5:40am - Australia 53 Mexico 0
A Cassie Staples hat-trick has helped Australia’s women open their World Series defence in perfect fashion with a 53-0 win over Mexico.
Staples had a first-half double as the Aussies racked up six first-half tries against the invitational side.
Emma Sykes was first off the rank with a score just 26 second ins before Page McGregor crossed in the second minute.
Charlotte Caslick made it three in a row as the Aussies’ attack really began to click and their momentum simply couldn’t be halted.
Staples’ two tries in two minutes stretched the gap further and the recently crowned 2018 Australian Women’s Sevens Player of the Year, Evania Pelite, sealed the first half by finishing some strong attacking pressure.
Things were a little bit tighter early in the second but Demi Hayes found some space in the ninth minute running close to 60 metres to score on her return from injury.
Staples’ third kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Aussies and only a fumble just short of the line stopped her from nabbing a fourth try.
McGregor nabbed her second with one minute to go, finishing off a bone-crunching Ellia Green tackle and securing a half-century for Australia.
Australia takes on Spain in their second pool match at 8:04am AEDT, LIVE on worldrugby.org or World Rugby Sevens Series Facebook page.
Tries: Staples 3, McGregor 2, Sykes, Caslick, Pelite, Hayes
Cons: Sykes 2, Treherne 2