Moments after leading Australia’s womens sevens team to a crucial quarter-final win, Ellia Green was asked about her injury.
A gashed eyelid suffered that required three stitches on Friday and had swollen half-shut.
Doing anything to help look after that eye tonight, Ellia?
“Nah,” Green replied. “Just a cup of concrete.”
Given the toughness Green had shown in Australia’s quarter-final win over France, however, the concrete wasn’t necessary. Nor any more hardening up.
Green is famous as the try-scoring speed queen of Australia’s womens sevens team but it was her bone-crunching defence that led the young team into a semi-final berth on Sunday morning.
On several occasions, Green flew up out of the line to smash French attackers; often times in repeat efforts.
At one point the Fijian flyer even started a bit of push and shove; a rarity in the breathless world of sevens.
After saving Australia many times across the years with her speed, this was a tone-perfect performance of physicality and intent from Green amid a young side who’d lost their previous game by getting outmuscled in the wet.
“She can barely see out of the eye. I said are you okay with that and she said ‘I’m fine’,” Manenti said.
“Her blood sort of boils when she gets into the contest so like I said , that set a standard and everyone jumped in behind her and that was great.”
Green shrugged off the cut eye, suffered against the USA a day earlier, as ‘nothing a bit of sticky tape can’t fix’ and said she’d embraced her role as a senior player, with Shannon Parry, Emilee Cherry and Charlotte Caslick out.
“I know with France they’re a very physical team and the only way to beat them is to beat them in the physicality, so we knew had to bring that in our defence,” Green said.
“I came in through the ranks when I was pretty young and I guess it’s my time to be a senior player. I am enjoying being the best role model I can be for our junior players.”