The Qantas Australian Sevens team has settled for silver at the HSBC USA Sevens after falling to the hosts USA in the Cup Final, after cutting a swathe through Russia and France earlier in the day.
The Aussies were starved of possession in the decider, forced to defend for the majority of the second half as the USA laid on four tries to one to claim the first tournament of the new HSBC Women’s World Sevens Series season in emphatic fashion.
Earlier in the day, the Australians dominated their Cup Quarter Final and Semi Final opponents, scoring 78 unanswered points across both matches.
Emma Tonegato and Cassie Staples each scored doubles in the 38-0 rout of Russia in the Quarter Final, while Tonegato added another brace alongside a rampant Ellia Green in the 40-0 demolition of France in the Semi Final.
The stage was set for an explosive Final after host nation USA bundled out defending World Champions New Zealand in the other Semi Final clash.
Alev Kelter was first on the board for the hosts, who had the vocal Glendale crowd behind them to take the early momentum. Ellia Green darted across the line to level up after three minutes, but on the stroke of half time the Americans stole the advantage when Ilona Maher reached out at full stretch and planted down the go-ahead try.
It was all USA in the second period as the Aussies were made to get through a mountain of defensive work and were unable to stem the flow as Nicole Heavirland powered over for two more five-pointers to put the result beyond doubt.
Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach, John Manenti said: “We worked hard to put ourselves into the final, we’ve come some way but have a heap more to go.
“I thought we showed courage, but lack of possession hurt us.
“Keeping Russia & France scoreless, earlier in the day, was a positive that we can draw from as well as the performances of Charlotte Caslick, Vani Pelite and Emma Tonegato who I thought were world class.
“We’ll head home now and start working towards Dubai.”
The Series will take a two-month hiatus now before the second event in Dubai from December 5-7, which will also mark the beginning of the 2019/20 Men’s World Series.