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ACT teams fire at Hottest 7's
A strong side, featuring six new female players competed at last week's Darwin Sevens with some promising results in both the men's and women's competitions.
The women's team played six games over two days and developed well in the four lead up matches on the Saturday in hot and humid conditions. A welcome return to Kristy Giteau from maternity leave saw her share the try scoring tally with seven after day one with fellow winger Nikki Stanley (who finished second and fourth highest try scorers in the women’s competition).
Sporting a new playing strip for 2013, the girls became a crowd favourite following some spirited play and tries, on their way to Sundays semi-final win over the Northern Territory’s ‘Casuarina Cougars’.
ACT lost two key players from the Sunday evening semi-final with injury and came up against Sunnybank from the QLD competition, who boasted a number of representative players and were convincing winners in their lead up matches. A very physical game was had with the girl’s defence creating a lot of turnover ball.
Sunnybank were physical, holding the ball for a good percentage of the game and scoring once in the first half and twice in the second half, while the ACT were down to six players (sin bin). A consolation try to 16 year old Taylor Stanford of Jindabyne was a highlight as she stepped around several defenders to score out wide with three minutes remaining. The girls fought back at several times but were held out on a number of occasions as the clock counted down. Final score Sunnybank 19-5 winners.
A great tournament and plenty to work on in the lead up to the National Womens 7s championships in April.
The Brumbies Men’s team was comprised of promising ACT club players who have been identified as potential future Brumbies. Despite a promising start from the young side in their first match of the competition, the Tsunami Wavewares were too strong, defeating the Brumbies 29-12. Their following match was set to be a tough one against Deveta, the 2012 Singapore 7s winners, however due to Visa problems the Fijian side were a late withdrawal from the competition, giving the Brumbies a 28-0 win via forfeit.
The Brumbies were keen to get back onto the field and had an early lead in their final match of the day against the local Casurina Cougars, but the Cougars made the most of a few errors by the inexperienced side to put pressure on the Brumbies in the final minutes. After a dramatic finish the Brumbies held on to win 24-17.
The following day saw the beginning of the knockout rounds, and the Brumbies quarter final against Auckland in stifling humidity. The match was always going to be a tough one with Auckland winning the New Zealand national championships in 2011 and 2012, and bringing three All Black 7s players to the competition, but a well-earned team try to Alex Harrod ensured the Brumbies earned the respect of their intimidating opponents.
A final score of 33-5 knocked the men’s team out of the competition and Auckland went on to win the final.
Amanda Singh (c)
Kristy Giteau (c)
Coach: David Grimmond
Drew Southwell (C)
Coach: Nick Leah / Adam Fahey