The Griffith AON 7s have secured 4th place in the first round of the series after a tough couple of games on the second day of the competition.
The defending premiers went through the first day undefeated with impressive performances over Bond University (22-5), University of Melbourne (24-5) and a win in the final seconds against the University of Adelaide (24-19).
The last pool match against University of Sydney on Sunday morning tested the team but Griffith’s hard-fought win (19-10) put them in prime position for a finals berth heading into the remainder of the day.
Unfortunately an energetic University of Technology Sydney side proved too much for Griffith in the semi-final, knocking them out of contention for 1st place with a last-minute try (22-17). The loss took its toll and Griffith was unable to back up against University of Sydney, who made 3rd place with the win (24-0).
Acknowledging an impressive start, Coach Moana Virtue admitted she was disappointed with the last few games of the tournament.
“We really let ourselves down towards the end of the second day,” said Virtue, who is well-known in women’s rugby circles as a former Wallaroos assistant who more recently coached the Queensland Women’s XV coach.
“It was slow start in the semi-final, but I was proud of the way to girls fought back in the second half, but we just let them in at the end.
“We didn’t back up well and this showed in the playoff for third.
“There were a lot of positives from the tournament, but we have a lot to work on before we head to Bond (University) in two weeks.
“We had a few niggles to battle with over the weekend and the heat played a factor but that’s sevens and everyone’s in the same boat, we need to make sure we’re consistent right to the end.”
Captain Laura Waldie was side lined for the 3rd place playoff after suffering a head knock in the semi-final. She is confident however improvements will be made for Bond.
“We have a young team this year and this weekend we had good and bad moments,” said the 22 year-old Griffith Bachelor of Oral Health and Dental Science student.
“Now it’s time to recover, take away the lessons we have learnt and get back to training before the next tournament.
“We have a great culture and we’re willing to work hard, we just need to dig deep when it counts.”
The AON University series resumes September 28th and 29th at Bond University.