Griffith University has won its maiden title in the AON Women’s Rugby Uni 7s series with a convincing 28-7 win over University of Queensland in Sunday’s gold medal game in Brisbane.
Griffith finished on top of its pool in the round games after defeating University of Melbourne (41-0), University of New England (36-5), University of Queensland (10-7) on day one and finishing level with University of Tasmania (17-17) in their final pool game on day two.
In the semi-final, Griffith convincingly defeated Macquarie University (22-0) before repeating their pool victory over University of Queensland to take out round three of the AON Series.
Coach Moana Virtue said it was challenging to finish third (Tasmania) and second (Canberra) in the opening two rounds, but now finishing first was amazing.
“What we concentrated on was ourselves, making sure we all knew our roles and played our part, it was a real team effort,” she said.
“What’s also pleasing is that we’ve got a lot of development players and we’ve been able to bring in a new player every round so far in the series.”
Education student Kahli Henwood was unstoppable in her first return to the side since her debut in Tasmania in August, contributing two tries to the team’s grand final win over University of Queensland. She said the team pushed really hard all weekend for the top spot.
“We knew going into the final that UQ were going to keep fighting until the final whistle so to get the win over them felt unreal, particularly at their home ground.”
Director of Griffith Sports College, Duncan Free OAM, said he was pleased the team had been finally rewarded for its hard work.
“It demonstrates the commitment of everyone involved in the Rugby 7s program,” he said. “The team came so close in Tasmania and Canberra, so to win gold in Round 3 really sets up the final two rounds of the series.”
Griffith sits in a three-way tie at the top of the competition ladder alongside Macquarie University and University of Queensland.
“Ultimately, we will be focusing on ourselves as a team to give us the best possible chance to hold onto top spot and this week at the Australian University Games will be a good opportunity to hone our skills as a team,” Kahli said.
Five Griffith students from the AON team will line-up for Griffith University in Division 1 of the Women’s Rugby Sevens competition in the Australian University Games this week (22-27 September) on the Gold Coast.