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Rugby: Australia stun New Zealand in Women’s Sevens World Series opener

Australia fought back to beat New Zealand 35-27 in the final of the IRB Women's Sevens World Series opening leg in Dubai. Photos: IRB / Martin Seras Lima.

Australia fought back to beat New Zealand 35-27 in the final of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series opening leg in Dubai. Photos: IRB / Martin Seras Lima.

November 30, 2013: Australia stunned the crowd in Dubai on Friday night as they beat New Zealand 35-27 in a thrilling final to claim round one of the 2013/14 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series.

 

New Zealand were well ahead in the first half with the likes of Kayla McAllister and Carla Hohepa getting on the scoreboard and although Australia were behind for most of the final, their fitness shone through as they managed to claw their way back and run out eventual winners 35-27.

 

Australia captain Sharni Williams said: “We had a little bit in the tank at the end of the game. We were missing a lot of tackles, but when we got our hands on the ball we felt strong and we attacked. Our conditioning has definitely paid off.”

 

Australia coach Tim Walsh was delighted with his team’s comeback: “It’s not a fluke,” he said. “The girls have worked really hard on their core skills. We’ve been progressing the whole way through pre-season. But every team is going to up their game going into the next round of the series and we just have to keep working.”

 

Earlier in the day, England beat a plucky Spain side to win the Plate final and Fiji overcame France to win the Bowl.

 

New Zealand edged out Canada 19-5 in the first cup semi-final, while Australia made easy work of Russia, winning 31-0.

 

New Zealand on their way to a 31-0 win against the USA on day one in Dubai.

New Zealand on their way to a 31-0 win against the USA on day one in Dubai.

Under the searing midday heat, the quarter-finals also produced some thrilling matches with Canada and Spain going to extra time and Australia beating England with the last play of the match.

 

Mark Egan, the IRB Head of Competitions and Performance, said: “It has been amazing to see just how competitive the Women’s Sevens World Series has become. The skill sets of teams like Brazil and Spain has improved dramatically, especially in the last year.

 

“Fans in Dubai were treated to great rugby over the past two days and the final was a classic. My congratulations go to Australia and we’re all looking forward to the next leg in Atlanta in February.”

 

Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Russia, Spain and USA are core teams on the 2013/14 IRB Women’s Sevens World Series after reaching the quarter-finals of Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013. The eight core teams will compete across all rounds of the series, which travels to Guangzhou, China, in early April.

 

IRB Women’s Sevens World Series 2013/14

Nov 28-29, 2013:        Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Feb 15-16, 2014:        Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Feb 21-22, 2014:        Arena Barueri, São Paulo, Brazil

Apr 4-6, 2014:             Guangzhou University Town Stadium, Guangzhou, China

May 16-17, 2014:       National Rugby Centrum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

For Emirates Dubai Rugby 7s women’s results, visit:

http://wsws.irb.com/destination/edition=1/fixturesresults.html

 

Source: IRB

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