Commonwealth Games: Aussie Women start in style
Photo: Mike Lee @ KLC fotos for World Rugby
The Australian Women’s Sevens side have kicked-off their quest for gold at the Commonwealth Games in style, racking up two wins from two in the opening pool games played yesterday on the Gold Coast.
A 34-5 dispatching of Wales first-up was as positive a start as they – and head coach Tim Walsh – could have hoped for. And despite a below-par first half in the second match against England, they roared back in style to run out 29-12 winners and book their place in Sunday’s semi-finals.
Their remaining Pool A game against Fiji takes place this evening at 7.21pm, and will decide who tops the ladder and who they will face in the final four.
The Aussies came out against Wales clearly keen to put on a show for the home crowd at Robina Stadium. An early try for Emma Tonegato got the ball rolling, after good work from Emilee Cherry, and local heroine Evania Pelite soon got in on the act when she finished off some individual brilliance from Emma Sykes.
Ellia Green wasted no time in making an impact when she joined proceedings, more great work from Sykes giving her a run on the outside, and not many can catch her from there. And it was 22-0 by the break, game smarts from Charlotte Caslick opening the door for Sharni Williams to run in try number four of an impressive stanza.
Green was soon celebrating her second after the restart thanks to some clever work from Alicia Quirk, before Wales finally got on the board through Jasmin Joyce. But replacement Dom du Toit ensured that Australia had the final say, going under the posts for the final score of the contest, and a 31-5 victory.
The second game a few hours later against England however, proved to be a sterner test. The Aussies did open the scoring, Tonegato showcasing a dummy and a step on her way to the chalk after England had missed a gilt-edged chance at the other end. But the English girls were here to play, and soon built up a lead when Abigail Brown and Deborah Fleming both crossed the white line.
A stunning Ellia Green effort from 60 metres soon brought the nervous crowd back to full voice, and tied up the scoreboard at 12-apiece in the process. And having got back on an even keel, the Olympic champions were in no mood to let their opponent’s enjoy any further success.
Emma Sykes claimed a deserved first of the day after Alicia Quirk did well to find her with a pass off the deck, before Tonegato put Evania Pelite away to the line for a 24-12 advantage.
There was still time for another, a terrific little kick through from the increasingly influential Sykes giving Cassie Staples the chance to run in number five, and rubber stamp phase one of their title challenge.
The Aussie Men’s Sevens team gets their tournament underway today with games against Samoa (9.31am), Jamaica (1.11pm), and England (8.05pm)
Women’s Pool Matches Results
Canada 29 South Africa 0
New Zealand 45 Kenya 0
Canada 24 Kenya 12
New Zealand 41 South Africa 0
Australia 34 Wales 5
England 17 Fiji 5
Fiji 29 Wales 7
Australia 29 England 12