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‘Being the best I can’: Bienne Terita’s rapid rise to ‘world-class’ status

By Finn Morton
Bienne Terita of Australia fends off the tackle from Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe of Ireland during the 2023 HSBC Sevens match between Astralia and Ireland at FMG Stadium on January 22, 2023 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

From Commonwealth Games heartbreak to “world-class” status, the rapid rise of Bienne Terita in the 15-player game was eye-catching, enthralling and simply a lot of fun.

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Having debuted on the Sevens World Series as a teenager at the 2022 Spain Sevens in Malaga, Terita went on to impress in Aussie gold alongside the likes of Charlotte Caslick and Maddison Levi.

But with the opportunity to complete on one of the world’s biggest sporting stages escaping her grasp, Terita was called into Wallaroos’ camp under coach Jay Tregonning.

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Terita scored with one of her first touches as a Wallaroo in an O’Reilly Cup Test in Adelaide in 2022, and the wing completed an impressive brace with the final try of the afternoon in the 80th minute.

The try-scoring phenom continued to impress during the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, but a return to the shorter format of the sport was always on the cards.

Terita was back on the World Series last season, but the chance to push for higher honours in 2023/24 awaits the 20-year-old. The Aussies will go to the Olympics, but only 12 will play.

Wallaroos coach Tregonning may have called the rising star “world-class,” but that doesn’t guarantee Terita a spot on the plane to Paris 2024. There’s plenty of work to do between now and then.

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“I just take each game as it comes. I take the confidence out of the coaching that I’m given by Tim, by our strength and conditioning coach Tom, knowing that I’ve done all the work,” Terita told RugbyPass.

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“What I produce out there on the field, a lot of it comes from the girls that I train with. I train with some of the best players in the world and they push me to be the best player I can be.

“I think a lot of that comes from that and the coaching that I’m given. So no, I feel sometimes when I hear that stuff I don’t really believe it.

“This is actually the first time I’m hearing of it,” Terita said while laughing when asked about being “world-class.”

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The Australians have been training and travelling for months in the pursuit of their Olympic and SVNS dreams – they’re “in the best physical shape we’ve ever been in.”

But when the season gets underway in Dubai next month, and as the countdown to Paris 2024 continues to tick by, the Aussies will be eager to right some wrongs from their last campaign.

Almost one year ago to the day, the Australians started their World Series title defence with a Cup final triumph in Dubai. But that’s as good as things got.

Rivals New Zealand won the next six Cup finals as they ran away with a dominant rise to World Series glory. The title race wasn’t even close.

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But that’s all in the past. The Aussies have been working really hard in the offseason, which included some valuable clashes with their arch-rivals.

“It was really good for us to get game time to play against these players. I think that’s what (coach Tim Walsh) really wanted for us during our preseason,” Terita added.

“New Zealand are always good and they were probably our biggest competition during preseason as well as France.

“It was just really good for us to get really good game time, good quality football, get those combos right… play really good footy, get some new players coming through, and get some game time.

“I think it just goes to show we’ve always got new talent coming through which really pushes us to be the best that we can be and produce really good rugby on the field.

“I’m just really keen to play some footy with the girls. We’ve worked so hard during our offseason so I’m really excited to get out there.

“We’re all in the best physical shape we’ve ever been in seeing that we’ve been in preseason for so long now.

“I’m a finisher so just finishing for the girls really well, being the best I can be out there – hopefully the best out there on the field… and hopefully winning as many World Series tournaments as possible.”

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Comments

1 Comment
P
Pecos 244 days ago

Great potential superstar in the making. But “world class” is such a devalued term when based on player potential after a handful of games. Let’s give her a few years to learn & develop her craft shall we?

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