Canada Sevens: Aussies finish second in Langford

Womens-Langford
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia has finished second in the Canada Sevens after a 21-17 loss to New Zealand.

A controversial decision in the final seconds and two wayward conversion kicks proved the difference in one of the best trans-Tasman encounters in recent times.

Ellia Green began the final in the perfect way for Australia, with a bone-crunching hit followed by a superb run down the left edge to score the opener.

Though New Zealand’s Tyla Nathan-Wong couldn’t run down Green on the way to that first try, she was able to slip a slick pass to her skipper Sarah Hiriani and the captain wrong-footed Charlotte Caslick to score.

Niall Williams added to New Zealand's score with one minute to go in the first half.

Caslick made amends for her defensive mistake earlier generating an equalizer almost on her own and passing off to Emma Tonegato for a score.

Only two conversions separated the teams at half-time, with Nathan-Wong’s kicking more on target than that of her Aussie counterpart Sam Treherne.

Australia has finished second in the Canada Sevens after a 21-17 loss to New Zealand.

A controversial decision in the final seconds and two wayward conversion kicks proved the difference in one of the best trans-Tasman encounters in recent times.

Ellia Green began the final in the perfect way for Australia, with a bone-crunching hit followed by a superb run down the left edge to score the opener.

Though New Zealand’s Tyla Nathan-Wong couldn’t run down Green on the way to that first try, she was able to slip a slick pass to her skipper Sarah Hiriani and the captain wrong-footed Charlotte Caslick to score.

Niall Williams added to New Zealands score with one minute to go in the first half.

Caslick made amends for her defensive mistake earlier generating an equalizer almost on her own and passing off to Emma Tonegato for a score.

Only two conversions separated the teams at half-time, with Nathan-Wong’s kicking more on target than that of her Aussie counterpart Sam Treherne.

It was Nathan-Wong who stretched their advantage as well, with an individual effort in the second minute

New Zealand tried to ice the clock deep in attack but a mistimed pass bounced right into the hands

Australia had a chance to go for a last-gasp winner but a contentious knock-on call from the restart gave New Zealand the final scrum and the chance to end the game.

The Aussies were missing Vani Pelite, who was injured earlier in the tournament, and needed to draw on some extra grit to try and keep the Kiwis out

Despite the loss, Australia has put themselves in the box seat for a spot at the Olympics, stretching their advantage over fifth-placed France to 14 points.

France came fourth in Canada, behind the USA while Canada took fifth.

EARLIER: Australia will face New Zealand in the Canada Sevens final after a 26-19 win over France

Treherne pounced on a French mistake to score the Aussies’ first in the opening minute.

A huge effort from  Caslick went close to stopping a French reply before Camille Grassineau was able to score off the next phase.

An Green knock-on deep in defence gave France an attacking scrum and they made the most of the chance with Jade Le Pesq stealing the lead for the French.

Emma Tonegato gave the Aussies a pivotal reply, sprinting down the left edge for Australia’s second.

Tonegato earned her double, and her 100th career try, in the final play of the half.

France doubled down in defence in the second half and it took almost two minutes for Alicia Quirk to finally break through for Australia, spotting a gap off a breakdown and taking off to score.

Australia peppered France in attack but a Tonegato fumble snuffed out that passage.

France managed to nab one back through Caroline Droun, narrowing the gap to seven points.

A French sideline tackle forced a Green knock-on, giving them an attacking scrum and the chance to level it with 15 seconds left.

Australia won a penalty at the breakdown to seal the victory and earn

The win also all but assures them of an Olympic spot, with fourth-placed Australia 10 points clear of France in the standings coming into the Canada Sevens.

New Zealand secured qualification with their semi-final win over the USA.

The trans-Tasman rivals will face off in the final at 9:18am AEST.

CUP QUARTER-FINAL

Australia will take on France in the Canada Sevens semi-finals as they move one step closer to securing Olympic qualification.

The Aussies had a comfortable 31-12 quarter-final win over Russia in their day two opener.

Sharni Williams scored the first try for Australia and Ellia Green played a key role in the opening half, kick starting their attack with a superb early try.

Charlotte Caslick added a third try just on the stroke of half-time with the Aussies in control.

Russia's physicality has at times caused headaches for the Aussie women but they stood up to the challenge with ease 

Some misjudged passes put Australia under pressure early in the second half and Russia had the chance to hit back through Kristina Seredina.

As the second half went on, though the Aussies settled and scores to Sariah Paki and Emma Tonegato sealed the victory.

The win sets up a final four showdown with France that will have ramifications well beyond just this tournament.

Australia currently sits fourth in the overall World Series standings, with the top four at the end of the season automatically qualifying for Tokyo 2020.

France sits in fifth, 10 points behind Australia, and a semi-final win over the French would all but ensure the Aussies keep them at arm's length with just one more tournament to go.

RESULTS

Quarter-final

Australia 31 - Russia 12

Semi-final

Australia 26 - France  - 19

Final

Australia 17 - New Zealand 21