Cape Town Sevens: Mixed fortunes for Aussies on day one

Womens-Cape Town
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Aussie teams had mixed fortunes on the opening day of the Cape Town Sevens.

Australia's women opened their campaign with a dominant 32-0 shutout of England, featuring an impressive performance from Ellia Green.

For the men, it was a case of so close, yet so far against Ireland in a 26-21 loss.

2:05am - MEN - Australia vs Ireland

Ireland inflicted heartbreak on the Aussies in Cape Town. Photo: World RugbyAustralia's men suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of Ireland in a 26-21 loss.

Sean McMahon played limited minutes in his first outing in the Sevens fold since 2014 as the Aussies fell in yet another tight match.

The teams were going titi-for-tat until a yellow card for promising youngster Locky Miller opened the door for Ireland to nab the winner at the death.

Joe Pincus was first on the board for Australia before captain Lewis Holland was binned for a high tackle.

Ireland made the most of the one-man advantage to level up the scores before Henry Hutchison found the line to give Australia a seven-point half-time lead.

The Irish were the first to score in the second half and a clinical restart gave them a second consecutive score and the lead for the first time in the match.

Pincus nabbed his second to square things up but another card gave Ireland the opportunity to clinch the win.

It was a major turnaround on the teams' last match up in Dubai in which Australia piled 45 points on the Irish.

RESULT

Ireland 26

Australia 21

11:20pm - WOMEN - Australia vs England

Australia's Women's Sevens have startedtheir debut Cape Town tournament in perfect fashion with a XXX win over England.

Australia's defence was under pressure early and they forced an England error quickly,

Some persistence in attack opened up a gap for Ellia Green to score in the second minute.

A perfectly-timed Emma Tonegato offload gave Green her second off the next restart and the Aussies opened up a 10-point lead.

Green looked like getting a hat-trick, and equalising Emilee Cherry's Australian World Series try-scoring tally, but was pulled down just short of the line.

Madison Ashby had the final say of the opening seven minutes with a quick tap for the third try of the half for the Aussies.

It took less than a minute for the Aussies to cross in the second half with Alicia Lucas finishing off a high-tempo attacking chain to score in the eighth minute.

Sharni Williams added to the score, wrong-footing an England defender to score a super individual try with four minutes to go.

A Lucas intercept sparked another Australian attacking chain that ultimately led to a second Ashby try.

Australia plays Ireland in their second pool match, on Saturday at 5:45pm AEDT.

RESULT

Australia 32

Tries: Green 2, Ashby 2, Williams, Lucas

England 0

SQUAD

Australian Women's Sevens for Cape Town Sevens

1. Shannon Parry, University of Sydney, Queensland, 27 caps 

2. Sharni Williams (c), University of Canberra, ACT, 32 caps 

3. Yasmin Meakes, University of Canberra, ACT, 8 caps  

4. Cassandra Staples, University of Queensland, NSW, 9 caps

5. Emma Tonegato, University of Western Australia, NSW, 27 caps 

6. Demi Hayes, Griffith University, Queensland, 9 caps 

7.  Jakiya Whitfeld*, University of Sydney, NSW

8. Madison Ashby, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, 2 caps

9. Faith Nathan, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, 1 cap

10. Alicia Lucas, University of New England, NSW, 31 caps 

11. Rhiannon Byers, University of New England, NSW, 3 caps 

12. Ellia Green, University of Melbourne, Victoria, 27 caps 

13. Sariah Paki, University of Technology Sydney, NSW, 8 caps

FIXTURES

Friday 13 December

Australia vs England, 11pm AEDT

Saturday 14 December

Australia vs Ireland, 5:45pm AEDT

Australia vs USA, 11:57pm AEDT