Valuable lessons in weekend rugby action

Ivania Wong in action on Day 1, Round 3 (Nationals) of 2021 AON University 7s. © Karen Watson / Rugby AU Media

Griffith University Rugby Sevens coach Moana Virtue said the team learned some valuable lessons after taking fifth place in round one of the National Aon Uni 7s competition played over the weekend. 

Bond was crowned Nationals round one champions after defeating Sydney Uni in the gold final on Sunday. 

“The weekend result didn’t really reflect the way our tournament was played, the ladies gave everything and played some pretty good rugby,” Moana Virtue said. 

Griffith co-captain Kiri Lingman with Ivania Wong, Marama Thomas and Alana Elisaia. © Karen Watson / Rugby AU Media

“As usual we’re a team that fights to the death, which is a trait we love and thrive on however when crucial moments happen and we’re a second off the pace or an inch off the accuracy it can change a game and unfortunately this weekend we had a couple of those moments in crucial times and it cost us. 

The weekend competition marked the first time in this year’s tournament that Queensland teams were able to travel to meet their NSW counterparts, and games were boosted by the inclusion of twelve players from the national sevens squad scattered across the six teams in action. 

The first match of the first day of competition saw Griffith beat UTS 22-17 with a try to Aussie Womens Sevens squad member Lily Dick and a double for Demi Hayes proving the difference. Both Dick and Hayes study at Griffith and are members of Griffith Sports College.

Chantay Ratu on Day 2, Round 3 (Nationals) of 2021 AON University 7s © Karen Watson / Rugby AU Media

“Our Rugby Australia Griffith contracted players Lily Dick and Demi Hayes gave everything every game with their work ethic, competitiveness and were just inspiring for our group,” Virtue added.  

Unfortunately, competition rivals UQ and Griffith both failed to make the top four on day two of the tournament, but Griffith secured fifth spot by beating UQ convincingly 31-0 off the back of a double from Demi Hayes and tries to Lily Dick, Chantay Ratu and Kahli Henwood. 

Virtue says the team is now looking ahead.  

“We had a few younger player put their hands up for further selection for the final round, which is was awesome to see and to watch their progress, their growth in skills, fitness and confidenceis what the programs all about,” she said. 

The final round kicks off in two weeks here in Queensland and it should be another exciting journey to be a part of.”