Aussie Sevens wary of 'milking' tactics as they look to curb high tackles

Tue, Mar 26, 2024, 9:34 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Dom Du Toit scores an incredible solo try v Fiji at SVNS Vancouver

Australia Sevens star Dom du Toit is wary of the target the side will have on its back as they head to Hong Kong looking to curb their dangerous tackling 'habits.'

The Aussies will be looking for their first title of 2024 as they travel to the Sevens World Series's spiritual home for the competition's sixth leg.

Watch every round of the HSBC SVNS Series exclusive, ad-free and live on Stan Sport. 

Tim Walsh's side has been their own worst enemy in previous tournaments as they continue to draw the ire of referees with high tackles.

Maddison and Teagan Levi have been suspended on multiple occasions along with Madison Ashby and Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, forcing them to play with six for several games.

This culminated in the Los Angeles Final when Maddi Levi was yellow-carded for a shot against New Zealand that saw the Kiwi attacker instantly clutch her face and go down after high contact despite Levi being low with bent knees and hinging at the hips.

“Other teams are certainly going to look to milk that a little bit and that just comes back to our discipline. If we can completely eradicate that and make sure that we’re giving a picture that we’re tackling low, there’s no other option for the referee," du Toit told Rugby.com.au

“We’ve been working really hard on that both as individuals and as a team in these last few weeks post-LA because we’ve had way more cards than we should have.

“We’ve almost gone every tournament with one which is not something we’re proud of. It’s a little bit of a habit and we have to break that by just continuously repetitive training."

du Toit has been one of the standout players in 2024 under Walsh, named as part of the Vancouver Dream Team.

“I feel a lot more confident within myself and in my game," she explained.

“I’ve worked really hard on gaining some muscle mass and getting a little bit more size on me, which is giving me heaps of confidence

“I’m really confident in my role within the team on the bench, coming on as an impact player and just supporting those girls and lifting the energy.

“I’ve been here for quite a while so I think I’ve just found my groove and hopefully can keep building on that leading into the Olympics.”

Her inclusion is even more special after the 26-year-old confirmed she damaged her ankle midway through the event, fighting through the pain for the rest of the tournament and in LA.

She will subsequently miss next week's event, to be available for selection for May's Singapore event.

“I was quite nervous that it was going to be a really serious injury but thankfully it was just lateral ligaments," she admits. “At the start, I thought it was nothing too bad but it blew up quite big and it was pretty painful. I wasn’t at 100% but I was still able to go out there and do my job which was I think the most important thing.

“If I wasn’t able to do that, I wouldn’t have gone onto the field (in LA) but luckily (I) had really strong support around me and they helped check in and make sure I was doing everything right so I could go on the field."

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