DUBAI, UAE – The first tournament of the 2017/2018 Womens Sevens World Series was as fun as it was unpredictable – and that may be the theme for this season. For the @USAWomens7s, they sent the message that on their day they can beat anyone… and when not, they can lose to anyone. For the rest of the world, Australia have let it be know that they are back to take their crown and everybody is welcome to try and stop them. Let’s take a look back at the Dubai7s.
Americans show an indomitable spirit:
The Eagles 7s had a mediocre first day and a great second day in Dubai. Day One was a textbook example of inconsistent performances, while on Day Two they showed their moxie. The USA finished a tournament in a much stronger place than when they started. On Day One, they held their own against a tough French side but came up short of a tie due to a missed conversion late in the game. In the second game, the Eagles looked liked they were on their way to a shock loss against South Africa, until a fumbled lineout led to a last minute try for Naya Tapper – giving the USA the win. That helped them save face and stay competitive for a cup-round berth. The final match of the pool saw the Eagles were defending Series Champs New Zealand. The Eagles were properly out-classed and had no answer for the Black Ferns and went down in flames 45-14. Fortunately, the women’s sevens circuit has only 12 teams. To make the 8 teams for the playoffs in the 3 pools of 4, they take the top two pool teams and the two best third place teams. Courtesy of the win against South Africa, the USA was good enough to scrape in at 8th place and make the cup playoffs.
Day Two began with a shocking win by the Eagles against the Black Ferns. Less than 12 hours after getting humiliated, the Eagles bounced back with a great effort, capped off by a try and conversion after the hooter to give them a two-point victory. The Eagles kept on their hot-streak as they faced Russia and didn’t seem phased as they shrugged them off. They played confidently and won a see-saw match. Then it was the Cup final and a chance to win it all. The upstart Eagels had no answer for the questions Australia would ask, as they were shut out 34-0. It was a tough loss but finishing second in the first tourney of the season is a great start.
It was the return of the Aussies, as they signaled their return to the top of the Women’s 7s series prominence. The Australians treated the round like it was an invitational, as they dominated every side they faced. No opponent that faced them managed to score more than 12 points. It was as impressive a 6-game run as the series have seen.
Russia really impressed over the course of two days but they came up against their old cold war rival in the semi-final… They started fast and despite a blip against Australia, they were close until they lost to the USA. They still did well in the end as they managed to defeat Canada in the third-place match… Continuing their improvement from tournament to tournament, the ladies of Ireland managed to secure a few upsets and claim the Challenge Trophy.
Final standings will be
Second: United States
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And as always, stay low and keep pumping those legs.