Keeping the pressure on the teams at the top of the competition ladder will be the priority for the Griffith girls when they contest the latest round of the AON Uni Rugby 7s this weekend (Sept 29-30). After securing the silver medal last time out in Canberra, Griffith is keen to go one better when Round 3 brings the series to Brisbane on Saturday and Sunday.
Led by head coach Moana Virtue, Griffith charged into the finals from the top of their table in Canberra. Defeating University of Tasmania (42-0), Macquarie University (21-19), University of Melbourne (46-0) and University of Adelaide (36-7) in the round matches, Griffith then met local rival Bond University in the semi-finals, coming out victorious with a 19-5 win. Ultimately, Griffith went down to Macquarie University in the gold medal play-off (26-0).
Director of Rugby at Sunnybank Rugby, Gaven Head, who was in Canberra in a support role for the Griffith team, said the squad was happy with the improvement from Round 1. “It was bittersweet,” he said. “To finish the rounds on top of our pool and proceed to our first final was amazing but it was disappointing to go down to Macquarie after we had beaten them in the round matches.
“The results to date show that we have the ability to win but we need to be consistent in our performances and build for the final at the end of the second day.”
Griffith is currently sitting in third place on the series ladder as the girls look forward to going one better in Round 3 this weekend at the University of Queensland.
The squad that will line up on the weekend without Wallaroo Georgina Friedrichs (Business) and Diaz Seumanutafa, both out withinjury, and minus Lily Dick (Business) and Sam Treherne who have been called into the national squad to play at Hokkaido 7s International Tournament in Japan this weekend.
However, the squad is boosted by the return from injury of emerging sevens and fifteens star Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea.
“The pressure is on to ensure that we make the final in each of the remaining three tournaments to remain a chance of winning the series. We are fortunate to have six players with international experience and for them to be supported by possibly the strongest squad of 24 girls.”
Griffith University has partnered with Griffith Uni Colleges Knights Rugby Club and Sunnybank Rugby Union Club in building its women’s sevens squad.
Griffith will face University of Queensland, University of New England, University of Tasmania and the University of Melbourne in the round matches before hopefully securing a third consecutive finals berth.
Griffith Squad: Eliza Flynn (Sport Development), Anthea Moodie (Business), Kiri Lingman (Public Relations & Communication), Rhiannon Revell-Blair, Laura Waldie (Oral Health Dental Science), Yolanda Gittins, Sophie Quirk (Exercise Science), Alana Elisaia, Kahli Henwood (Education), Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Charlotte Kennington, Ivania Wong.