Three rounds were played on Day 1 of the Sydney 7s in the Women’s draw which saw a mixed bag of results for Oceania teams. Australia and New Zealand finished the day in fine style, both top of their respective pools and undefeated. Whilst Fijiana had some moments of brilliance but were unable to come on with a win. Papua New Guinea, who received an invitation to the Sydney 7s leg of the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series were unable to put any points on the scoreboard.
Australia’s Ellia Green made a triumphant return to the Aussie7s, after missing most of 2017 with injury, showed she is fully recovered with a try on her first touch of the ball and finished the day with 5 tries to her name. While the Aussie 7s had a clean sweep holding all 3 opponents scoreless. Blackferns 7s Portia Woodman, when asked what it felt like ending the day with 10 tries said, “it feels really good out there, but that is because the team is sticking to the game plan. Day 2 is another day though, so we’ll see how that goes.”
New Zealand will meet Russia and Australia will meet Spain in the Cup Quarter finals, on Day 2.
Portia Woodman on her way to make try 8 (Photo: Mark Evans)
It was a harder day out for the rest of the Oceania teams, Fijiana and Papua New Guinea’s Palais, with neither team securing a win on Day 1. Fiji will face off against Japan and PNG will aim for a win over England first up on Day 2 in the Challenge Semi Final to keep their hopes alive.
PNG Coach John Larry said, “it wasn’t our day today, we knew it would be tough against Australia, France and Spain, but we lacked discipline today. Maybe it was the pressure of the big stadium, we didn’t plan for that.”
The Sydney 7s gives the Palais the opportunity to play against the core HSBC Womens Sevens Series teams ahead of the Rugby World Cup 7s in August later this year.
In a first for the World Series Sevens both the Men’s and Women’s draws will be played across all 3 days. This saw the 5 Oceania Men’s teams all play one a match to close of Day 1.
Fiji run out victors against Samoa 31 - 5 (Photo: Bradley Kanaris)
Papua New Guinea’s Puk Puk’s were up first and were shut out by current Series Champions South Africa in a 50 – 0 Loss. Puk Puk’s Coach said, “it was a bit of a disappointing effort from the boys, some of the areas we have been working hard these past weeks went out the window today.” PNG will be looking for a stronger show against England in their first match of Day 2.
Fiji scored within the first minute of their match against Samoa in a physical game before taking the match 31 – 5. After a slow start, New Zealand 7s completed a shut out of Russia 61 – 0 before the Aussie Men’s 7s team finished off Day 1 for the Oceania Teams. Boyd Killingworth opened up the scoring 2 minutes in before taking the win against the USA 26 -19 in a tight match making it 4 wins from 4 games for the Aussie teams on Australia Day.
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