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Aust women's 7s barge into Sydney semis

Australia will play Ireland in the Sydney Sevens semi-finals on Sunday after an impressive defeat of France at Spotless Stadium.

Aust women's 7s barge into Sydney semis

Australia will play Ireland in the Sydney Sevens semi-finals on Sunday after an impressive defeat of France at Spotless Stadium.

SHARNI WILLIAMS of Australia carries the ball during the Women's rugby match against the United States on Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
SHARNI WILLIAMS of Australia carries the ball during the Women's rugby match against the United States on Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Deodoro Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Picture:Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images

Asked to toughen up and play some "old school" rugby, Australia found the perfect leader in Ellia Green as they crashed and bashed their way into the Sydney Sevens semi-finals.

Unable to match the United States in the wet on Friday at Spotless Stadium, Green set the tone for the hosts with a thunderous first-minute tackle that inspired the 21-17 defeat of France that followed.


The former sprinter is known for his scintillating pace down the sideline but it was her repeated, bone-crunching efforts in defence that kept the host's title defence alive on Saturday.

Green could barely see out of her stitched-up left eye but, in a response that would delight coach John Manenti, said she'd only need a "cup of concrete" (to harden up) and be right for Sunday's final four showdown.

"Nothing a bit of sticky tape won't fix," she said.

"The only way to beat them was to beat them in physicality; we knew we had to bring that in our defence."

Green admitted she enjoyed the extra responsibility with key trio Charlotte Caslick, Emilee Cherry and Shannon Parry sidelined while Manenti was glowing in his praise of the flyer.

"We went a bit old school and 15s-style and said if you embrace and get stuck in you'll find it's not an issue," he said.

"Ellia was absolutely immense in defence; we know what she can do in attack but she really set a tone and everyone else went with her.

"To be able to launch, then she got up and went again ... her blood boils when she gets into the contest."

Green's defence helped resist France's early efforts before Emma Sykes finished a long-range team effort for the quarter-final's first points.

Captain Sharni Williams then stepped in and away to break the the line for a 14-0 lead before Carla Neisen got one back for France on the half-time bell.

They again held firm to start the second half before Lily Dick's strong-running try ensured France's two late tries sent hearts fluttering but were in vain.

Australia will play Ireland in a Sunday semi-final, who are in the final four of a world series event for the first time, while New Zealand and the United States will meet in the opposing semi-final.

AAP


AAP




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