Uni 7s: Griffith in position for back-to-back titles after strong opening day in Adelaide

Uni 7s
by Emma Greenwood

UPDATE: Griffith University sits at the top of Pool A after the opening day of the Uni 7s round in Adelaide, with the Queenslanders setting themselves up for a tilt at back-to-back titles and a defence of their Aon series title.

Griffith won three of their four fixtures on the opening day of play in Adelaide, beating the University of Melbourne, the University of Adelaide and UWA before falling to Sydney Uni in their final fixture.

While they sit one point behind Griffith on the ladder, Sydney Uni will be pleased with their opening day's work, winning all three of their clashes heading into day two.

Lily Dick flying on return from an ankle injury. Photo: Karen Watson

Competition leaders the University of Queensland sit on top of Pool B after wins against UTS, Bond and UNE on day one. They will play their final fixture on Sunday morning ahead of the semi-finals.

UQ won the opening round of the series in Brisbane, before finishing runners-up to Griffith in round two to take the series lead, while Sydney Uni are in third overall after semi-final finishes in the opening two rounds.

In encouraging news for national coaches and selectors, Aussie sevens players Demi Hayes and Lily Dick made encouraging returns from injury, starring for Griffith on day one.

Mahalia Murphy in action for Adelaide. Photo: Karen Watson

Play continues at Graduates Oval with the final fixture round on Sunday morning, before the semis and finals.

All matches will be broadcast LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.

 

EARLIER: They may not be in line for the title but in the closest Aon Uni 7s season on record, the University of Adelaide are out to show that they deserve to be considered genuine threats as they fight their way up the competition ladder.

The Romas will host round three of the Uni 7s this weekend and captain D'Arcy Sadler said they were pushing for a top-four finish to help showcase rugby to a South Australian audience.

"It's not often that we have rugby in Adelaide, so it's just a really good opportunity to get everyone out here and see what type of rugby we can play," Sadler said.

 

"I think we're currently in fifth (on the ladder and fifth) place every tournament, so not only do we want to beat that but in front of our families and friends, we obviously want to do the best we can and show them what we've been working on since March or April this year."

Adelaide have received a boost from Welsh imports including British Olympic flyer Jasmine Joyce, while they still have access to Australian representative Mahalia Murphy this round, while other teams are missing Aussie sevens players who took part in the opening round of the world series last weekend.

"She brings a lot of leadership to the team, especially in moments where we might be doubting ourselves or the plays we might be doing, she really brings us back together," Sadler said of Murphy.

In a tough Pool A group that includes round two winner Griffith University and Sydney Uni, who are sitting in third place on the competition ladder, the Romas are determined to make a mark this weekend.

 

"This year, it's been a really tight competition, there's no game that's not a tough one and you can't go into any game think you're definitely going to win it," Sadler said.

"This tournament we're just going to keep working on our consistency and working together as a team to get it done.

"All of (the games) are going to be so tough. Our games against Griffith have been so tight, so I think if we could get up on them, that'd be great, it's one we're definitely working towards."

The University of Queensland lead the competition despite their loss to Griffith in the round two final at Bond last month and take a four-point lead over their Queensland rivals into the penultimate round.

Watch every game LIVE at RUGBY.com.au.

 

POOLS

Pool A: Griffith University, University of Sydney, University of Adelaide, University of Western Australia, University of Melbourne

Pool B: University of Queensland, University of Canberra, Bond University, University of Technology Sydney, University of New England

SQUADS

Bond University: Aleena Greenhalgh, Sara Sautia, Madison Schuck, Harmony Hau, Bailey Marshall, Stephanie Rutherford, Melanie Wilks, Chante Bates, Gabrielle Senft, Sarafina Vosuqa, Emily Bass, Grace Qaranivalu.

Griffith University: Ivania Wong, Cecilia Smith, Laura Waldie, Taylor Fenton, Lily Dick, Kahli Henwood, Charlotte Kennington, Yolanda Gittins, Georgia Devlin, Ngaupoko Masters, Eloise Schlect, Katie Curtis, Demi Hayes.

University of Adelaide: Lauren Potter, Mahalia Murphy, Jasmine Joyce, Courtney Munroe, Hannah Jones, Zara Lee, Brianna Nathan, Lauren Kildare, Rebekah Jones, Eva Karpani, Kelly Rowe, D'Arcy Sadler.

University of Canberra: Biola Dawa, Brooke Gilroy, Ainsley Scrivener, Lily Murdoch, Skye Churchill, Ella Ryan, Rachel Crothers, Aroha Spillane, Darcy Read, Claudia Obst, Lillyann Mason Spice,  Alahna Ryan.

UNE:Mereseini Leivere, Willemijn ter Avest, Britney Duff, Shenay Ball, Leilani Nathan, Paris Ingegneri, Jocelyn Kelleher, Nicole Nathan, Emma Bradford, Maya Stewart, Kika Mulling, Anika Butler.

University of Melbourne: Annie Buntine, Ashleigh Walker, Tangata Tupou, Tiarah Minns, Reni Hicks, Tamara Whiteside, Halley Derera, Caitlin Ryan, Page McGregor, Amy Williams, Beauty Autalaga, Tyra Boysen-Auimatagi, Page McGregor.

University of Sydney: Iliseva Batisbasaga, Olivia White, Jakiya Whitfeld, Emily Chancellor, Rhiannon Parker, Piper Duck, Claire Woolmington, Jemima McCalman, Grace Hamilton, Nina Vistisen, Barbara Waddell, Lauren Murty.

University of Queensland: Bella Nasser, Sidney Taylor, Lori Cramer, Georgia Hannaway, Amelia Kuk, Haj Mosby, Shenae Ciesolka, Melita Hicks, Jannicke Ijdens, Pleuni Kievit, Terri-anne Egan, Kaitlin Shave.

UTS: Arabella McKenzie, Kennedy Cherrington, Mareva Swann, Layne Morgan, Cassey Tohi-Hiku, Luisa Yaranamua, Tamsin Barber, Leanne Toomalatai, Montana Walters, Tia Hinds, Bienne Terita, Faith Nathan.

UWA: Brooklyn Joyce, Pania Kara, Neesha Barrett, Zakiya Kereopa, Langley Sesega, Zion Taurima, Ariana Ruru- Hinaki, Rueben Cherrington, Crystal Walters, Nicole Ledington, Leanna Ryan, Tamika Jones.

RESULTS

Saturday 12 October

Round 1

Griffith University 24 d University of Melbourne 5

University of Adelaide 0 def by University of Sydney 24

UTS 12 def by University of Queensland 27

University of Canberra 32 d Bond University 0 

Round 2:

Griffith University 28 d University of Adelaide 19 

UWA 12 def by University of Sydney 36

Bond University 28 d UTS 19

UNE 0 def by University of Canberra 38

Round 3:

Griffith University 22 d UWA 14 

University of Adelaide 33 d University of Melbourne 0 

UTS 33 d UNE 21 

University of Queensland 17 d Bond University 12 

Round 4:

UWA 19 def by University of Melbourne 27

Griffith University 19 def by University of Sydney 29

UNE 0 def by University of Queensland 38 

University of Canberra 7 def by UTS 31 

SCHEDULE

Sunday 13 October

Round 5:

University of Western Australia v University of Adelaide, 9:00am

University of Melbourne v University of Sydney, 9:20am

Bond University v University of New England, 9:40am

University of Queensland v University of Canberra, 10:00am

Semi-Finals:

3rd Pool A v 4th Pool B, 11:00am

3rd Pool B v 4th Pool A, 11:20am

1st Pool A v 2nd Pool B, 11:40am

1st Pool B v 1st Pool A, 12:00pm

Finals:

9th/10th Playoff, 1:00pm

7th/8th Playoff, 1:25pm

5th/6th Playoff, 1:50pm

Bronze Medal Match, 2:15pm

Gold Medal Match, 2:40pm