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Aussie Women book quarter-final clash with NZ in Dubai

4 December 2015

RUGBY SEVENS: The Qantas Australian Women's Sevens side has set up a mouthwatering trans-Tasman clash with New Zealand in the Dubai Sevens Cup Quarter-Finals later this afternoon (Friday).

On a day full of surprises on Day One of the 2015-16 HSBC Women's Sevens Series, Australia avoided any slip ups of their own to go undefeated after beating Spain (29-7), Japan (41-0) and then England (24-7).

Head Coach Tim Walsh said: "I'm pleased. To go three out of three is always tough and I'm pleased with how we progressed throughout the day. There were quite a few teams who were a bit rusty at the start and we were no exception. But I felt we developed and were getting what we were after by the end of the England game.

"Emilee [Cherry] was in good form, very fleet of foot and she made some good decisions. I don't think she missed a tackle all day from a defensive point of view either. I also liked Alicia Quirk's physicality in the final game against England while Shannon [Parry] affected several key turnovers."

On the Cup Quarter-Final clash with current World Series champions, New Zealand, Walsh added: "They started to string some really good performances by the end of pool play. New Zealand know more than anyone that it is all about Day Two - the Cup Quarter-Final is the most important of any World Series weekend and it's a game we'll embrace and look forward to.

"We love playing New Zealand and they love playing us - it should be a great game."

Australia got their season off to a winning start after seeing off the challenge of Spain. A scrappy first half that saw the scores level at the break gave way to a dominant second period for Tim Walsh's side. Following Emma Tonegato's opener, Evania Pelite and Ellia Green gave Australia a healthy lead before Emilee Cherry's delightful grubber was collected by the flying Green to put the seal on the win.

The Aussies made it two from two with a clinical win over Japan to confirm their spot in tomorrow's Cup Quarter-Finals. Emilee Cherry side-stepped the Japanese defence from inside her own 22 to dot down after just 30 seconds and Evania Pelite added a second before lightning winger Ellia Green scored a hat-trick. Emma Tonegato and Amy Turner both added tries in the second period to complete the rout.

It was Emilee Cherry who once again who broke the deadlock in the Pool C decider against fast-improving England. The 23-year-old Queenslander left the English defence flat-footed to open the scoring before Charlotte Caslick and Amy Turner gave the Aussies a 19-point lead at the break. Ellia Green put the game out of sight with her sixth try of the day and 50th of her World Series career midway through the second half. Replacement winger Jo Whatmore scored late on for England but it proved no more than a consolation.

In the other Cup Quarter-Finals at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai, England will play Canada, Russia face off against Spain and Fiji meet France.

Fans can watch the Cup Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals LIVE via www.worldrugby.org/womens-sevens-series/ with FOX SPORTS broadcasting Finals Day from 11.10pm AEDT on Friday 4 December through to 1.00am AEDT on Saturday 5 December.

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens results in Dubai, UAE, 3-4 December:
Australia 29-7 Spain, Pool C
Australia 43-0 Japan, Pool C
Australia 24-7 England, Pool C

Australian Rugby Union

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