'Golden win' as Australia Women's Sevens claim Dubai title

Sat, Dec 3, 2022, 3:24 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Australian Women's Sevens have stolen a thrilling final in Langford to take the World Series crown.

The Australian Women's Sevens side have picked up from where they left off, claiming the Dubai title with a 26-19 win over New Zealand.

It secures their third-straight title at the prestigious opener, cementing their status as 'queens of the desert' as they notched another win over arch-rivals Black Ferns in the decider.

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“I think the most pleasing thing is the consistency," Player of the Final Madison Ashby said after the match

“It was bittersweet that Michaela Blyde got me on the edge there but they're world-class players so it’s a pleasure to play against them.

“We’d played a bit of park footy (out there) but we’ve prepared well in pre-season and I think as our coaches say, we’re the queens of the desert, we thrive off the heat so for us it’s just a golden win.” 

An early Sariah Paki break set the tempo and put the Aussies on the front foot from the first whistle.

Sharni Williams stepped up to open the scoring, wrapping around to dive in under the posts in the first 90 seconds.

Legendary Black Fern Michaela Blyde was the main attacking threat for the Kiwis, twice beating speedsters Faith Nathan and Maddison Levi to keep the Kiwis in the contest with a first-half double.

However, the duo showcased their class as they refused to drop their heads, instantly responding to the lapses in defence with tries of their own.

Nathan darted away and scored in the corner after the Black Ferns’ kick off didn’t go ten from Blyde's first try.

After Blyde produced some fancy footwork to get past Levi before the break, the Rookie of the Year capitalised on a looping ball from Ashby to cross for a record-breaking 11th try, the most tries in a single Dubai tournament.

Ashby was a nightmare over the ball as the Aussies smothered the Kiwi attack, winning vital turnovers on multiple occasions for the defending champions to earn best on-field status.

The co-captains then combined to extend the lead, with Charlotte Caslick finding Demi Hayes after being dragged down metres from the line.

Blyde crossed for a hat-trick but it was too little, too late as Tim Walsh’s side claimed their third successive Dubai title.

“It was awesome,” co-captain Charlotte Caslick said after the win.

“We’ve had a really hard pre-season and our beautiful physio Frankie and her baby girl Billy is back at home, I think we did that for them and we’re devastated for her but I think that was for them.

“The girls fought really hard.”

“It was always going to be a tough final against them,” fellow co-captain Demi Hayes added.

‘A credit to them, (Black Ferns) are always a tough opponent so to come out on top was a good win for the girls.”

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