RWC Sevens 09: Aus win women's title

(IRB.COM) Saturday 7 March 2009
 
RWC Sevens 09: Aus win women's title
The Australian women celebrate their historic victory

Australia became the first ever Women's Rugby World Cup Sevens champions as they defeated New Zealand in extra time sudden death in Dubai in 2009.

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In an outstanding final, Shelly Matcham scored the decisive try to clinch a similarly dramatic victory to their 22-15 Oceania qualifying tournament victory over their Down Under neighbours.

Nicole Beck, 20, scored the opening try of the final before Debby Hodgkinson crossed for her seventh of the tournament to give Australia a two-try cushion.

But when Rebecca Tavo was sent to the bin, New Zealand capitalised on their numerical advantage and scored either side of half time through Justine Lavea and Carla Hohepa, the latter claiming her ninth of the tournament.

The match went into extra time sudden death but Australia were awarded a penalty and Matcham scored in the corner to clinch the victory for coach Jason Stanton's team and create history in the process.

Perhaps the biggest upset of the day was when England were knocked out of the Cup competetion at the quarter-final stage but they picked themselves up to reach the Plate final and lift the trophy.

They scored two first-half tries through Danielle Waterman and Kat Merchant and shut Canada out in the second half to win 12-0 and ensure they went away with some silverware.

China also earned a place in history, becoming the first side to lift a Women's RWC Sevens trophy. They defeated Brazil 10-7 in the Bowl final, thanks to tries from Wang Qianli and Yang Hong, who scored her eighth of the campaign.

Cup

In the first semi final, New Zealand defeated USA 14-12 in an enthralling match. Both sides scored twice but Amy Daniels' try for the Americans was unconverted in the first half. USA captain Christy Ringgengberg had an outstanding game, setting up Daniel's try, before crossing the whitewash herself, but it was Hannah Porter with a second-half try who lead her team into the final.

In the second semi final, Australia defeated South Africa 19-10. South Africa's Phumeza Gadu put South Africa in control but Australia coach Stanton rung the changes and two of his replacements, Bo De la Cruz and Tricia Brown, made immediate impacts. Both women score tries to clinch the victory and progress to the final.

Earlier France, Canada, Spain and England were all knocked out at the quarter finals and moved into the Plate. Besides England's defeat, the game of the round was between South Africa and Spain. Spain led at half time through Laura Llado, but Thamie Faleni and Tash Hofmeester scored second-half tries to put them into the semi finals.

Plate


The four losing quarter finalists lined up in the semi finals of the Plate. Canada were 12-5 behind courtesy of a Emilie Verouil at half time in the first semi final, but Mandy Marchak and Brooke Hilditch scoring her second of the game enabled Canada to book their spot in the final.

In the second semi final England beat Spain 12-7. Spain went ahead through Berta Garcia's converted try but Rachael Burford cut Spain's lead to two points late in the half. Charlotte Barras scored in the second half to see of the Spaniards in a highly contested match.

Bowl


China booked their place in the final of the Bowl with a 28-0 victory over Italy in the first semi final. A try apiece in each half for Fan Wenjuan and Yang Hong ensured they would be competing for the first trophy in Women's RWC Sevens history.

In the other semi final, Russia took a 12-7 lead into the second half, with Natalia Selyutina crossing twice. Beatriz 'Baby' Futuro took the tie into sudden death extra time before Barbara Santiago scored the crucial points.

The pick of four excellent quarter finals was match between Russia and the Netherlands.

Russia scored two tries in the second half to snatch a 12-5 win. Anastasiya Mukhar'yamova brought the scores level before Alexsandrina Mukhina went under the posts to clinch victory. The Netherlands had gone into the second half with the lead through a Kelly van Harskamp try but were unable to hold on until the end.