Aussie women finish fifth in Colorado, Kiwis take first 2018-19 title

Womens - Colorado
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia has finished fifth in Colorado after a 21-19 win over Ireland in their play off final, as New Zealand took the gold.

The Aussies were knocked out of the Cup draw after a shock quarter-final loss to the USA - their only loss of the two-day tournament.

They managed to bounce back in the minor draw with wins over England and Ireland to finish fifth, a rebound that will be critical when it comes to Olympic qualification calculation time.

Only the top four World Series finishers will be guaranteed Olympic qualification and with such a competitive World Series, every single point could count.

The Kiwis finished with the gold medal after a 33-7 win over the USA in the final and Canada cruised to a bronze medal win over France.

10:04am - Ireland 19 - Australia 21

A last-gasp Ellia Green try has snatched a 21-19 win over Ireland and fifth place in Colorado for Australia.

The Aussies held an early lead before the gritty Irish narrowed two tries to just two points and a third Irish try put Australia on the back foot.

Green came up with some late magic to speed away from the Irish defence and level scores with just 12 seconds to go and a Samantha Treherne conversion stole the win.

Australia came out with a clear mission against Ireland and two super lines from Evania Pelite and Charlotte Caslick put Demi Hayes over in the second minute.

Emma Sykes hot-stepped an Irish defender to make it two in a row for Australia, to go with her slick kicking efforts over the weekend, but Ireland nabbed one back through Aoife Doyle soon after.

Australia’s defence was peppered by the Irish and though they were able to throw in some desperate efforts, Ireland managed another in the final play to narrow the margin to two points at the break.

Ireland worked their way through Australia’s defence again in the ninth minute with Charlotte Caslick caught in a two-on-one, allowing Amy Leigh Murphy Crowe to go over for the Irish.

The Irish scrum was dominant late in the second stanza, winning a tighthead against Australia, but the Aussies were let off the hook by some sloppy Ireland passes.

A Page McGregor knock-on snuffed out an Australian chance with two minutes left as the chances to score began to whittle down.

Green saved the day with her spectacular individual effort, giving the Australians a positive finish.

Every position counts this season which doubles as an Olympic qualification year, with only the top four guaranteed of automatic Tokyo qualification.

The USA and New Zealand will play off for the gold medal.


Ireland 19

Tries: Doyle, Nic a Bhaird, Murphy Crowe,

Cons: Mulhall 2

Australia 21

Tries: Hayes, Sykes, Green

Cons: Sykes 2, Treherne 

7:19am - England 12 - Australia 26


Australia’s women will play off for fifth in the USA after a 26-12 win over England in their semi-final.

It was a scrappy start to the fifth-place semi-final with some basic errors from both sides.

England found the line first, through Emma Uren, who beat out Dom Du Toit on the edge to streak to the opener.

Evania Pelite had an immediate reply, outworking an England defender and slipping down the edge to score the Aussies’ first.

A superb individual effort from Ellia Green put the Aussies further in front, with the speedster putting a grubber through the defensive line, gathering the pill and going over in the seventh minute.

England captain Abby Brown took a quick tap off the second half kick-off and converted it straight into a try, narrowing Australia’s lead to just two points.

The Aussies found themselves a player up with five to go, after England’s Celia Quansah was sent to the bin for a high tackle, but still errors close to the line prevented them from adding to their score.

Charlotte Caslick had a hand in almost everything in the second half, with some clever runs and long-range passes, but they were held up in defence by England.

Samantha Treherne finally found some pay of the field, finishing off a Caslick-Dominique Du Toit set up in the centre of the field.

Emma Sykes added a fourth in the final seconds to seal a win for Australia and secure a spot in the fifth-place final.

Australia will take on Ireland in the fifth-place final at 9:20am AEDT, on


England 12

Tries: Uren, Brown

Cons: Aitchison

Yellow card: Quansah 

Australia 26

Tries: Pelite, Green, Treherne

Cons: Sykes 3

4:57am - Australia 5 - USA 26


Australia’s women will finish outside the top four at major international  event for the first time since 2015 after a 26-5 quarter-final loss to the USA

The Aussies have been a fixture at the top of the World Series for the past four years, last missing the Cup semi-finals in Victoria, Canada back in 2015.

The USA have often presented a tricky challenge for Australia with their relentless defence they began in that vein on Monday morning.

USA’s Ilona Delsing Rosa Maher was the hat-trick hero for the USA, slicing through the Australian defence, capitalising on their mistakes.

Maher had a double by the fourth minute, blitzing the Aussie defenders and running into open space to score.

Australia looked rattled as the USA continued to pile the pressure on in their territory, suffocating the defending World Series champs.

The reigning world Series champs kept chipping away with possession, albeit unable to reap any points in the first half, leaving them with a 12-point gap to turn around.

America took less than a minute to add to their lead in the second half, as Cheta Emba capitalised on a defensive miscommunication.

Emma Sykes hit back immediately for the Aussies to finally get them on the board but it wasn't enough to turn the match around.

Australia struggled to get out of their own half, with some sloppy passes and little space to break through.

Maher made the most of another Australian mistake and sealed the USA's victory, relegating the Aussies to fifth spot.

Australia will play off against England for a spot in the fifth-place final at 6:58am AEDT.

USA will play France in one semi-final, while New Zealand takes on Canada.


Australia 5

Tries: Sykes 

USA 26

Tries: Maher 3, Emba

Cons: Heavirland 2, Kelter