Griffith Rugby 7s team tied for second heading into final AON tournament

Griffith half-back Alana Elisaia charges with the ball. Image: Craig Dick

Reigning premiers, Griffith’s AON 7s team will put it all on the line this weekend in the last round of the Uni 7s series this weekend in Canberra. Griffith is second on the ladder, tied with Sydney University on 50 points, who notched up their first tournament win since the team’s inception in Round Three.

Series leaders, University of Queensland, have a 6-point lead over Griffith and Sydney University. They’ll need to finish fourth or lower to give Griffith a chance at back to back championship titles.

Griffith coach Moana Virtue. Image: Christen Hill

Despite the pressure of this weekend, coach Moana Virtue was optimistic and relaxed at training in Sunnybank this week.

“Regardless of what’s going on with the ladder I want the girls to focus on playing this weekend and that’s all,” said Virtue.

“We play our best rugby when we focus on ourselves and I know the girls are ready for this, they’ve been working hard all year, so they are well conditioned.

“We’ve had some tough tournaments but also some great wins. This week we haven’t changed anything with our training and consistency will be our focus this weekend.”

Alana Elisaia Image: Craig Dick

With two top three finishes in this year’s tournaments, Griffith has again cemented itself as a leader in the AON series.

Half-back Alana Elisaia, who has been a standout this year, credited the success to staff and team culture.

“We spend a lot of time together with trainings and tournaments and we’ve grown as a team each week.” said Elisaia.

“We’ve had another really solid week of training as we head into the final tournament, and the girls are ready to finish on a high.

“The success we’ve had so far is a credit to the support and guidance we’ve received from the coaching staff and we owe it to them to put on a strong performance this weekend.”

The AON Uni series has become the premier platform for Aussie 7s talent identification. The conclusion of Round Four will shift focus to the current world series before the sports pinnacle of the 2020 Olympic games.