The Australia women’s sevens rugby team, despite being short-handed due to injuries to key players, managed to win the world series opening round with a dominating score of 31 -12 over Russia.
They made their way into the final by squeaking past New Zealand 15 – 12 in the quarterfinals before shutting out France 26 – 0 in the semi-finals.
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Coach Tim Welsh credited the extra effort put into training over the past three months for the high performance, saying, “It was our day today but it was by no means a fluke,” seeming to suggest that he expects the team to have similar success when the second leg gets underway in Brazil in the middle of February.
Walsh went on the say that once the team got past New Zealand, the prospects improved considerably, since he views New Zealand as “the pinnacle of rugby union.”
Russia did make it interesting with two quick tries that threatened a scoring eruption, but Ellia Green took the wind out of Russia’s sails with a 50-metre score before teammates Emilee Cherry and Evania Pelite removed all doubt about the outcome.
Injuries to Sharni Williams and Chloe Dalton left the Aussies a bit thin at forward. They will be evaluated when the team returns to Sydney.