10 November, 2014

Defending Champions Australia Eager To Replicate Success In Dubai

IRB Women’s Sevens World Series Trans-Tasman rivalry set to be repeated this year as Australia aims to defend Dubai title.

Tim Walsh, the coach of the Australia Women’s Sevens, has said his charges are looking for an encore of their 2013-2014 season start, when they won the first round of the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, beating their arch-rivals New Zealand 35-27 in the final.

And their rivalry is set to continue, with not only the Series title but also Olympic qualification on the line this year, both teams will be focused on taking full points from the first tournament of the Series.

After meeting New Zealand in every final of the five IRB Women’s Sevens World Series tournaments last year, and with two tournament wins each,  it came down to the wire in the last event of the series in Amsterdam to decide the Series winner.  A thrilling final saw the Black Ferns eventually pip Australia at the post, taking the title in the Netherlands and winning their second consecutive IRB Women’s Sevens World Series by a narrow 96-92 margin.

Heading to Dubai and with their focus on a first round win, Walsh said: “We got off to a great start last year when we won the Dubai Sevens, and hopefully we can replicate that in 2014. To represent Australia in the Olympics is every kid’s dream in this country so that’s obviously added incentive this year.”

On the team’s preparation for the event, the 35-year-old said: “We have the Coral Coast Sevens tournament in Fiji (this week), which will be our last preparatory tournament leading into Dubai. We’ve got some pretty heavy training schedules to ensure we are in peak condition, so Fiji will be our last sort of ‘hit out’ from the tournament point of view. We will keep training and take the flight over, arrive, and we’ll just get recovered and settled, and hopefully hit our game one ready to go and ready to start that journey to qualification.

“They are a very talented bunch of girls, and as most people are aware, in sport, many things can happen - so it’s how we adapt, how we adjust and how we overcome the adversity at times. We’re trying our best to be fully fit and prepared in the best possible way, and to make sure we repeat last year’s result in Dubai” Walsh added.

Title holders Australia are in Pool B of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens, alongside Spain, France and South Africa. Their match against South Africa at 11 am on 4 December 2014 will also be the tournament-opener.

Looking forward to hosting Australia once again, Tournament Director Jim Fitzsimons said: “Australia went neck-and-neck with New Zealand all last season. And once again, their battle promises to be one of the main attractions in the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series. Their encounter in the Final here in 2013 was a thrilling clash, and with Australia now looking to go one better and win the overall title, the fans should be in for a real treat at The Sevens”. 

Click HERE for all the information on the event and tickets. 

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