UNI 7s: Sydney Uni win round three of Aon series in Adelaide

Uni 7s
by Emma Greenwood

Sydney Uni have won round three of the Aon Uni 7s in Adelaide, beating series leaders the University of Queensland 19-5 and setting up a thrilling finish to the series in Canberra in a fortnight.

Despite the win, UQ's three trips to the finals in the opening three rounds means they hold a comprehensive lead heading into the final tournament in Canberra in a fortnight.

To win the series overall, Sydney or Griffith - level in second place on the ladder on 50 points - must win in Canberra and hope UQ fail to even make the top four.

Sydney Uni captain Olivia White said she was "unbelievably" proud of her team's effort to win their first title in the three-year history of the Aon Uni 7s event.

"We went through undefeated which I think speaks to the quality and depth of our team," White said.

"We've got some fantastic skill with Jakiya Whitfield, one of our young, up and coming talents, we've got some Wallaroos players, which we're very lucky to have.

"But I think those young girls that don't really have a name to them stood up and played a pivotal role in our team. We're a team of 12."

UQ and Sydney met in the final after both winning on through tough semis earlier today. But Sydney mastered the changing conditions better after rain tumbled just before kick-off and the wind picked up significantly.

University of Sydney captain Olivia White receives the trophy. Photo: Karen Watson

White said playing to the conditions had been key to Sydney's success.

"We're a pretty heavy bunch of sevens players, so we thought we'd play to our strengths with physicality and using that weight where it was going to be a benefit, so up the middle and recycling, because we do know that UQ are very talented when it comes to footwork and ball skills.

"So up the middle with strength and safe carries and it paid off."

An error from the kick-off from UQ handed the ball to Sydney Uni and they made the most of their early chances, Ili Batibasaga getting her team off to a great start when she broken through a pair of tackles just outside the 22 and raced away to score under the posts.

The bad news continued for UQ, with another error handing the ball back to Sydney again, before captain Lori Cramer was sin binned for a high shot.

Iliseva Batibasaga will start at no.9 with Georgia Cormick ruled out. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley

Emily Chancellor revelled in the extra space and dashed through a gap to add Sydney's second try, giving them a 14-0 lead they held to halftime.

Having played dry-weather football all weekend, the teams were forced to change their ways with the rain tumbling just before kick-off and making the pill slippery and Sydney adjusted well, holding the ball and using the big forward to advantage.

UQ finally got on the board midway through the second term, with Pleuni Kievit playing some good eyes-up rugby, receiving the ball back from a lineout throw-in before racing away to score.

But time ran out for the competition leaders, with Sydney Uni snaring their first title of the season.

UQ captain Lori Cramer in action on day one at the Bond round of the Uni 7s. Photo: Karen Watson

Cramer said Sydney Uni handed the conditions best.

"The ball was a bit wet which suited their style with their ability to just play that one-off sort of footy and we like to pass it around a bit more but we probably didn't stick to our plan as well as we should have," she said.

Despite being down at the break, UQ were confident of fighting back if they could lift their energy.

"We've had a lot of games where we've been down in the first half and been able to come back and put 30 points on a team, so we knew we could do it but it just didn't go our way."

 

Earlier, Griffith beat the University of Canberra 17-14 in the playoff for third to keep their series title defence alive.

Griffith led 12-7 at halftime after a try to Lily Dick just before the break and with Rachael Crothers sent to the sin bin for pulling Dick's hair in a desperate tackle attempt, they started the second term a woman down.

Things only got worse for Canberra when they had another player binned early in the second term and conceded a try to Laura Waldie.

Crothers made up for her mistake and put her team back in the game when she broke a tackle inside her own 22 and raced away to score but Griffith held on for the win.

In other finals, the University of Adelaide beat UTS to snare fifth place, Bond Uni finished seventh after beating UWA 24-19 and the University of Melbourne was ninth after a 17-12 victory over UNE.

Earlier in the competition, there was encouraging news for national coaches and selectors as Aussie sevens players Demi Hayes and Lily Dick made encouraging returns from injury, starring for Griffith on day one.

 

LADDER

1 University of Queensland 56

2 Sydney University 50

3 Griffith University 50

4 University of Canberra 38

5 UTS 36

6 University of Adelaide 36

7 Bond University 22

8 University of Melbourne 18 

9 UWA 14

10 UNE 10

 

RESULTS

Sunday 13 October

Round 5:

UWA 24 d University of Adelaide 19

University of Melbourne 0 def by Sydney Uni 42

Bond University 24 d UNE 5

University of Queensland 24 d University of Canberra 5

Semi-Finals:

3rd Pool A (Uni of Adelaide) 17 d 4th Pool B (Bond Uni) 10

3rd Pool B  (UTS) 27 d 4th Pool A (UWA) 0

1st Pool A (Sydney Uni) 24 d 2nd Pool B (University of Canberra) 17

1st Pool B (UQ) 22 d 2nd Pool A (Griffith Uni) 12

Finals:

9th/10th Playoff - University of Melbourne 17 d UNE 5

7th/8th Playoff - Bond University 24 d UWA 19

5th/6th Playoff - University of Adelaide 24 d UTS 21

Bronze Medal Match - Griffith University 17 d University of Canberra 14

Gold Medal Match - Sydney University 19 d University of Queensland 5

DAY ONE RESULTS

Saturday 12 October

FULL REPLAY

 

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 

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