Wallaroo sevens' red hot form continues in South Africa
Australia’s women’s sevens champions have made a fine start to their latest World Series round in Cape Town – but their male counterparts struggled again.
Australia’s seemingly unstoppable rugby sevens champions have made another impressive start on the latest stop of their Women’s World Series title defence in Cape Town, sweeping towards the knockout stages with a blizzard of tries.
But while world sevens player of the year Charlotte Caslick was steering them in sight of a potential second title in seven days following their victory in Dubai last weekend, their male counterparts had another difficult afternoon on Friday.
After their disappointing outing in Dubai where they ended up seventh, John Manenti’s men lost their opening group match 21-19 to Great Britain, leaving them with work to do to make the quarter-finals with a tough outing to come against the USA on Saturday.
But back in the South African city where they won the World Cup in September, Tim Walsh’s women’s team, though, just keep ticking along smoothly, racing through their two group matches with 14 tries scored and not a single point conceded.
As in Dubai, his trio of stars who were all nominated for the world sevens player of the year award – Caslick, Faith Nathan and Maddison Levi – were at the heart of things, with all three scoring in their eight-try, 52-0 drubbing of hosts South Africa in their opening match.
Levi, who had amassed an all-time record of 11 tries in a tournament in Dubai, started off with two against the hosts, Nathan also got a brace while there were other scores for Caslick, Demi Hayes, Bienne Terita and, on debut, Faythe Manera.
In their later game, Australia were equally impressive as they pulverised Spain 38-0 with another Nathan double and further tries for Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Caslick, Sariah Paki and Dominique du Toit.
In the men’s tournament, Australia, who are also reigning World Series champions, were keen to make amends after a rare off-weekend.
Yet despite tries from Nathan Lawson, Dietrich Roache and Stuart Dunbar, they were undone against GB when Femi Sofolarin sprinted from his own half with 30 seconds left to snatch the triumph.
Shock of the day, though, was unquestionably New Zealand’s 14-10 defeat by Spain in the day’s opening game.
Spain scored two converted tries against two unconverted efforts from a New Zealand side who were always up against it after the sending off of Tone Ng Shiu.
It was only the second time in the World Series that Spain had beaten NZ, after their 2019 win in Vancouver.
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