Emilee Cherry scores last minute winner as Australia claim second Sevens World Series crown

Sport360 staff 15:30 10/06/2018
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Emilee Cherry goes over for the winning try against France that won Australia the World Series.

The Australian Women’s Sevens side will be crowned overall series champions of the HSBC Sevens World Series after ensuring a place in the Final in Paris on Saturday night.

The side will meet New Zealand in the tournament decider but can’t be beaten on the overall ladder, leading their Trans-Tasman rivals by four points heading into the final leg of the Series.

Australia overcame Fiji in a tough Quarter Final, 22-19 before facing off against tournament hosts France in the Semi Final. In another tight contest, Australia was able to emerge victorious, 21-17. Both times Australia came from behind to secure victory, with tries to Emilee Cherry proving to be the winning difference.

The Series victory is the second time Australia has been crowned overall Champions, with the Aussie 7s winning the HSBC 2015-2016 World Series.

Australian Women’s Sevens co-captain, Shannon Parry said: “It was a hard-fought match there, sorry to everyone at home for putting you on the edge of your couches.”

“It’s 5:30am at home but we did it for all our squad members back home and for everyone that’s been on this journey with us this year.

“There was a lot of pressure coming into that match, we just go through in a nail-biter against Fiji and then to win it with the last play was a fantastic effort from the girls.

“I guess it’s a short-lived celebration for us tonight because we want to take away that title tomorrow,” Parry said.

Australia will play New Zealand in the Cup Final of the HSBC Paris Sevens at 19.30 (UAE time) on Sunday 10 June.

MATCH REPORTS

Charlotte Caslick in action against Fiji

Charlotte Caslick in action against Fiji

Australia 22 defeated Fiji 19

Australia had a nervous start to the Quarter Final with Charlotte Caslick sent to the sidelines for two minutes for a high tackle.  The Fijians capitalising on the extra woman advantage with Miriama Naiobasali scoring in the corner after a huge amount of pressure and possession.  Shannon Parry entered the fray having an immediate impact off the pine, making a huge break up the middle before showing composure to go to ground allowing Caslick to get across the white line in the following phase to put scores level.  As the clock wound down to half time the Aussies struggled to get their hands on the ball, Fiji making their possession count again, Pricilla Sauvavi Siata with her first try of the day to have her side leading by seven at the break.

The Aussies knew they had to score first in the second half and it was none other than Emilee Cherry who stepped up, drawing a defender to allow Caslick to sprint into space who laid on a perfect pass for speedster Dom Du Toit to do the rest.  Just as the Australians thought they were beginning to get ascendency, Fiji put their foot on the accelerator, Merewai Cumu taking advantage of a missed line out to break through a tackle and score under the posts. Australia would have to score twice in the final two minutes to keep their title hopes alive. Instead of being overawed by the situation, Caslick again proved her class, throwing a huge cut out ball to Du Toit who pinned her ears back and out sprinted Fiji’s cover defence to make it a two-point ball game with one play remaining. Australia regathered possession off the kick-off and began to build pressure with multiple phases, eventually finding the space in the defence they were desperate for, Emilee Cherry the one to cross giving her side the lead in what was a remarkable display of calmness under immense pressure.

Australia 21 defeated France 17

Australia knew a win over France would hand them their second ever HSBC Women’s Sevens World Series and the occasion didn’t get the better of them, holding their composure as France started the match with all the possession.  Australia was able to secure possession after a French error and they made no mistake from the resulting scrum, Dom Du Toit with first points as she continued her superb try-scoring form in the tournament. Australia went over again moments later when Emilee Cherry found herself unmarked on the sideline. The French looked to get back just before the break, but a forward pass halted their attack, leaving the score 14-0 at the break.

The French side came firing out of the blocks in the second stanza. Their skipper Fanny Horta bashing her way to the try line after her teammate produced a textbook turnover at the breakdown in the previous phase. The home side had two almost immediately after, this time it was Majone Mayans using quick feet to step around the Australians to put her side back within two points with four minutes remaining in the match.  Mayans was hit high by Evania Pelite in the process of scoring, the referee showing Pelite a yellow card for the infringement, leaving the Aussies to defend with just six.  It looked as though heartbreak was on the horizon for the Australians when the French got their third and went ahead through Chloe Pelle. With the French in possession with 30 seconds remaining on the clock Emma Tonegato put her body on the line earning a penalty at the breakdown. The Olympic gold medallist then took off with a quick tap, drawing a defender before linking up with a flying Dom Du Toit who sensed Emilee Cherry on her inside and gave a sensational pass to the Aussie centre who ran 40-metres to score the matchwinner after the bell.  The final score Australia 21, France 17.

Paris Sevens day two results

Australian Women’s Sevens

Cup Quarter Final: Australia 22-19 Fiji

Cup Semi Final: Australia 21-17 France

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