USA upset Australia to top Pool C

Fri, 30/07/2021, 01:56 am
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Aussie 7s Women off to a hot start with two dominant wins over Japan and China at the Tokyo Olympics

Australia has suffered their first loss in Olympic Sevens history, defeated by the USA 14-12.

After a strong start, the physical dominance of the Americans caused major headaches for John Manenti’s side, who scored two late tries to seal the win.

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The Eagles were looking to drag Australia into a physical encounter – and that’s what they managed to do as the pace was played at a brutal rate.

The Aussies struggled in the opening minutes, with the crispness of day one in the past as passes failed to find their person.

They would proceed to lose a scrum in the third minute as America looked to impose themselves. However, the Australian defence held strong and repelled everything they threw at them, eventually earning the turnover.

Co-captain Sharni Williams put Emma Tonegato into a hole, who was unable to hang onto the ball.

Williams then decided to go herself, bursting through tackles to score the lone try of the half.

America were buoyed by their first half showing and won the ball back from the kick-off.

They would once again attack their line, but Australia held strong and earned the turnover.

Demi Hayes would then turn defence into attack, running 80 minutes to extend their 12-0 lead.

In the end, the physical nature of the contest took its toll on the Australians, with America finding a way through some soft defence via Cheta Emba.

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A loose pass to Charlotte Caslick would gift them another chance as captain Abby Gustaitis scooped it up and gave USA the lead.

With time running out, America would control the contest and starve Australia of possession, securing top of the group.

It marks their first loss at the Olympics, with the USA remaining unbeaten against the Olympic champions.

Australia will now face Fiji in the quarter-final, with a likely semi-final clash with New Zealand awaiting.

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