Perth Sevens: Australia women to take on New Zealand in MASSIVE QF, men scrape through as All Blacks bomb out
They’re used to playing one another at the pointy end of a tournament, but Australia’s women will play New Zealand in a blockbuster Perth Sevens quarter-final on Saturday evening (7:15pm AEDT).
Australia’s shock 19-12 loss to Great Britain on Friday, where the home side were forced to play with six players for the majority of the match with six players after Teagan Levi’s red card, meant Tim Walsh’s side finished second in their pool despite their comfortable 31-14 win over Canada on Saturday in their final pool match.
But it’s not all bad news, with Maddison Levi – the most lethal tryscorer in women’s sevens rugby – returning after serving her three-match ban that carried over from Australia’s gold medal at the Cape Town Sevens in December.
Although Levi’s absence allowed Bienne Terita, 20, some greater opportunities, the World Rugby Sevens player of the year nominee’s return gives Australia another dimension with the athletic outside back able to conjure up something out of nothing.
Australia will come up against an improved Black Ferns side, with the return of linchpin Tyla King giving the reigning Olympic gold medalists another dimension in attack and one of the game’s best kickers.
New Zealand sealed top spot in Pool C after a dominant 24-7 win over the United States of America.
In the other quarter-finals, Fiji will meet Ireland, Great Britain will play Canada and the impressive-looking French will face USA.
On the men’s side of the draw and Australia will take on the USA Eagles in the fourth and final quarter-final (10:25pm) despite suffering two pool defeats.
It’s the same match-up as day one, where the USA Eagles overcame a 14-0 deficit to win 19-14 in golden point.
John Manenti’s side then lost 19-10 to Ireland after a horror period either side of half-time, where Australia was demolished at the breakdown.
But they will take some confidence into their knockout match knowing they’ve been in all four matches thus far, including their 26-14 win over Great Britain on Friday.
The big shock coming out of Saturday, however, was the early exit of New Zealand.
The All Blacks were hammered by France 33-17 in their opening hit out on Friday, before stealing a late win over Samoa.
But a late 21-14 loss to Fiji saw the All Blacks knocked out.
Ireland will meet France in the opening quarter-final, Argentina will take in Spain in the second while Fiji will clash with South Africa.