The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team has won the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship, defeating New Zealand 14-10 in a thrilling Final at ANZ Stadium in Suva on Saturday.
In the Men’s Championship, Australia left opportunities out on the park, finishing in fourth place after going down to New Zealand in the Cup Semi Final and Samoa in the Third Place play off.
Earlier in the day the Aussie Women had accounted for Fiji in the Semi Final stage 29-0 to ensure that they advanced to the Final and the Aussie men defeated Tonga 19-7 in the Quarter Finals.
In the Cup Final match, Australia shot out to a 14-0 lead after a strong start with a try to captain Page McGregor underneath the posts the cherry on top for a hard-fought lead by Australia.
As the rain tumbled down in Suva, New Zealand came back in the second half with two tries of their own, but unable to land the conversations the score left Australia a small lead of 14-10.
New Zealand hammered the Australian line for the final moments of the match, with desperate defence from Australia keeping the women in black at bay.
Page McGregor, Rhiannon Byers and Hagiga Mosby led from the front with some huge tackles in pressure moments.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Assistant Coach, Dale Roberson said: “We’re really happy with the result and the entire team worked incredibly hard all day but especially in that Final.
“We saw the best of both worlds in that game, our attack worked in critical moments, scoring two strong tries against New Zealand. When under pressure the team didn’t crack but played hard for each other and refused to let New Zealand in again at the end.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Assistant Coach, James Stannard said: “It’s difficult to single out individual performances in such a strong team effort, but Cassie Staples, Page McGregor, Hagiga Mosby and Lily Dick were exceptional today.
“Importantly, today’s result shows that our pathway is strong in producing the next generation of Aussie Sevens players and every player across the squad will take a lot from this experience moving forward.”
After going down in the Third Place play off, Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh said his side would improve and take a lot from the weekend.
“We came here to perform and continue our preparation for the HSBC Sevens World Series.
“We performed well in patches but at this level patches simply doesn’t cut it and we need to find more consistency to continue to improve.
“From a preparation point of view the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship served its purpose highlighting areas that need some tightening up. Better execution in one or two moments delivers a different result.
“We’ll get back home and work on them and continue our preparation for round one of the Series in Dubai.”