Mon, Dec 18, 2023, 9:07 AM
Nathan Williamson

Australia's U18s Girls Sevens side have powered their way to the Global Youth Sevens title in Auckland.

The Women’s side were dominant from the opening day, scoring 232 points in their first four games without conceding a point.

They booked their spot in the final with a convincing 42-5 win over the hosts New Zealand, setting up a clash with defending champions Japan.

Their red-hot run continued into the Final, scoring in the opening minute as Shalom Sauaso, crowned MVP of the tournament, bumped off two defenders and found Fleur Ginn for the easy try.

Japan struck straight back as they found space through the middle, however, this only spurred the Australians to run away with the match.

Amahli Hala got Shannon Parry’s side back in front, finishing off a move she started as the Queenslander sprinted away.

Hala then set up Mackenzie Davis in the corner, contorting her body for a 17-7 lead at the break.

The Auckland crowd tried to rally the Japanese but the Australians scrambled in defence and launched the counter-attack through Hala for a length of the field try to start the second half.

Piper Simons sealed the win, slicing through the gap for an easy try to wrap the game up.

Ginn’s second capped off a dominant win and tournament for the Aussies, with Sausao and Davis named in the Team of the Tournament.

“The rivalry we’ve built with Japan since last year has been awesome just to push each other and play amazing footy,” co-captain Piper Simons said.

As for the Men, they went down in the semi-finals to eventual champions New Zealand.

Stu Dunbar’s side went into the finals full of confidence after cruising through the group stages, trading tries with their Kiwi counterparts.

They recovered from a 12-0 deficit to put themselves in front thanks to tries by Sidney Harvey and Rocco Gollings.

Brendan Palmer restored the Australians' lead before a late try Kiwi gave them a 24-21 lead.

They held on for the win despite a desperate effort from Archie Campbell to recover a grubber from Aden Ekanyake, scoring after the siren to seal the win.

Palmer and Harvey were named in the team of the tournament, whilst the Kiwis defeated New Zealand Cavaliers 26-19 in the Final.