Australia’s women have powered to a second straight Dubai Sevens trophy over the weekend, while the Aussie men fell agonisingly short in the final.
The Australian Rugby 7s women have maintained their dominant beginning to the World Rugby Sevens Series to win the side’s second straight title with a convincing 15-5 triumph in the final over Fiji on Saturday, the same side who the Aussies also defeated in last weekend’s showdown.
The green and gold contingent was also buoyed by the Aussie men’s solid performance to reach the final, but succumbed to the remarkable winning run of South Africa’s brilliant ‘Blitzboks’ going down 10-7.
After finishing fifth last week, it was a significant improvement by the new-look men’s side who went undefeated through the qualifying rounds but could not upset the South African side who have now won 24 straight matches.
Two tries from Madison Ashby and another from player of the final Faith Nathan were enough for the Australian women to largely control affairs in the final against the ‘Fijiana’, just as they had done in their 22-7 win the previous week.
Gold Coast 2018 silver medallist Charlotte Caslick, the star in that previous final, was again outstanding after Demi Hayes‘ side had been reduced to six in the second half with four minutes left because of a harsh sin-binning of Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea for a deliberate knock-on.
Caslick’s remarkable work rate saw her earn a crucial late turnover to ease the Aussies’ path to their first back-to-back world series titles for nearly four years.
Earlier on Saturday, they had wrapped up a 26-17 win over Russia in their final pool game.
And over five matches across the two days, the Australians’ dominance had been clear as they racked up 168 points, featuring 26 tries, including six from Nathan, who scored in every match, and another half-dozen from Caslick.
“I’m so proud of the girls. That’s exactly how we wanted to start this series and considering that it’s the first back-to-back series ever in Dubai, we’re so stoked,” Hayes said.
“We just kept to our structure, and knew exactly how we wanted to play, with width and making them run lots,” added the captain, whose side suffocated their opponents with non-stop pressure in the opening half as they led 10-0.
Dubai has proved a happy hunting ground for the Australians after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the planned world series event in South Africa and ended with the UAE capital staging a tournament two weeks running.
New Zealand and Australia would normally have hosted the next legs of the sevens world series but those events have been cancelled and replaced by two events in Spain in January.
The Australian sides are continuing to build their programs towards the upcoming Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in July next year.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will take place from 28 July to 8 August, with the Rugby 7s tournament to take place from Friday 29 July through Sunday 31 July with the men’s and women’s medal matches taking place on the first Sunday evening of the Games.
Next year’s Commonwealth Games will make global sport history by being the first-ever major multi-sport event to award more medals to women than men. There will be 136 medal events for women and 134 for men; at the 2018 Commonwealth Games there were an equal number of medals for women and men.
To be in the stands in Birmingham supporting the Australian Rugby 7s Team Members and the rest of the Australian team, for the first time Australian families and fans will be able to access group tickets for all events at the Commonwealth Games.
The Family & Fans Tour ensures Australian families and fans can sit and cheer together, stay together and play together at the Birmingham Games.
Tour packages are available; however, numbers are limited.
Bookings are now open, learn more about the Family & Fans Tour below.
BIRMINGHAM 2022 FAMILY & FANS TOUR
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games is coming – and you could be there to witness history in the making.LEARN MORE
With thanks Rugby Australia.