Oceania Sevens: Australia women finish second, men finish third

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THE Australian women’s team has finished second at the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship after falling 12-5 to New Zealand in the final, with the Aussie men’s team taking third place in torrential and stormy Suva on Saturday.

The young men’s side lost 31-0 to New Zealand in the semi-final but despite the scoreline, Australia asked questions of New Zealand’s defence.

In severe weather conditions, the tournament was delayed for hours after heavy rain and lightning forced the cease of play.

The men’s third placed playoff match against Samoa was suspended due to player welfare concerns, meaning that Australia finished in third place on points.

Both teams will now look to finalise their preparation for the Sevens World Series which kicks off in Dubai on December 1.

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New Zealand beat Australia in the men's. Photo: Oceania Rugby

New Zealand beat Australia in the men’s. Photo: Oceania RugbySource:Supplied

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“It’s been torrential rain here all day, but looking for a positive we dug deep there when we needed to,” said Australian women’s co-captain Shannon Parry.

“We’re on the upward trend leading into towards Dubai, it was some wet footy and we know we as Aussies don’t get to experience that too often.

“I’m proud of the girls’ efforts and we’re building well.

“Lauren Brown and Page McGregor (the debutants) did really well and fit in nicely into the team and they showed that they are capable of playing on this world stage.”

New Zealand celebrate the women's title. Photo: Oceania Rugby

New Zealand celebrate the women’s title. Photo: Oceania RugbySource:Supplied

Added Australian men’s assistant coach Jarred Hodges: “The weather has thrown up a whole heap that we have had to handle throughout the day, including the thunder and the lightning.

“It was part of dealing with the elements. I’m really proud of the boys’ efforts.

“I thought in the first half (against New Zealand) we put them under a bit of pressure, but it was probably their experience and maturity that saw them get through over the game.

“Our guys would have learnt a lot going forward.

“We now get down to business, we’ve got the world series kicking off in Dubai and we’ll get home and pick our 12 for the start of the World Series.”

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