Australia makes history in Sydney
Women don't concede all tournament
Men also victorious on home soil
Six games, six wins, 35 tries and no points conceded.
Australia’s women made rugby sevens history in Syndey this weekend as the first side not to concede any points during a tournament.
A 31-0 win over New Zealand in the final ensured Australia backed up victory in Dubai to take a commanding 10-point lead at the top of the overall standings.
“It was a fantastic way to finish the tournament here in Sydney in front of our home crowd especially as New Zealand are so tough to beat,” said Charlotte Caslick, who was awarded Player of the Final and now has 10 tries for the season.
“Our coach Tim Walsh wanted a better defensive effort in this tournament as it was not up to par last year, so we have worked really hard on it and we finished without conceding a try which is awesome.”
While speed, agility and try-scoring are all highly prized in sevens, this tournament will be remembered for Australia’s high-pressing defensive masterclass.
Walsh’s side saw off Spain (twice), Papa New Guinea, France, Russia, and then New Zealand in the final – a long-awaited victory over the world champions after five straight defeats.
Double delight for Australia
Things were to get even better for the home fans in Sydney. The men’s side secured a first tournament win since 2012 after ousting South Africa 29-0 in the final.
Unlike their female counterparts, the men’s course to the final wasn’t so smooth with narrow victories over USA, Scotland and New Zealand thanks to two late tries.
But a brace from Ben O’Donnell and one each from Lewis Holland, John Porch and James Stannard saw the home side ease to victory over the Blitzboks in the final.
“South Africa have been great in all the finals they’ve played,” said Holland, who ended the tournament with six tries.
“We knew we had to step it up. The way we tackled, the way we ran and the way we supported each other across the board was outstanding, from players, to coaches, to staff and everyone behind. It was a great team effort.”
The result means Australia moves to third in the overall standings with South Africa, which won in Dubai and came third in Cape Town, keeping hold of the top spot.
The men resume action later this week as Hamilton, New Zealand, prepares to host its first ever tournament. Tickets have already been sold out for Saturday and Sunday’s action.
The women’s competition restarts on April 21 in Kitakyushu, Japan, where Australia’s women will look to continue their 100% record.