AON Uni 7s Series: Rnd 1 Preview - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby Sevens

AON Uni 7s Series: Rnd 1 Preview

AON Uni 7s Series: Rnd 1 Preview

The AON Uni 7s kicks off this Friday at the somewhat uncharted territory, from a rugby perspective, of the University of Tasmanian in Launceston. For those still in the dark about this competition check out our announcements on this groundbreaking competition here and here.

As has been said many times there is so much to gain from this tournament with the development of new talent at the forefront. Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the competition will be how the Aussie squad members go against each other. As some of the best athletes in Australia they have all obviously got a fairly strong ‘competitive gene’ flowing through their bodies. Given they basically live together full time and would only really compete against each other on the training paddock, this face to face competition is going to be sensational to watch.

And watch you can as all matches will be live streamed on Rugby.com via Facebook Live.

Let’s look at this teams for this round:

University of Tasmania

Squad:

Michaelyne Arumbi, Hannah Butcher, Thani Champion-Peakman, Lauryn Cooper, Eugenia Dennison, Kiki Morgan, Lauren Murty, Shanice Parker, Alice Robinson, Caitlin Ryan, Sydnee Watanabe, Olivia White

Player to Watch:

Tassie suffered the big blow with the injury to superstar Ellia Green. Green’s brilliance would have been an instant hit with the local Tasmanian crowds. So, instead, keep an eye out for Shanice Parker. Of particular relevance now is that she is a West Aussie coming through the system out there and would you believe actually played with her mum (former Jillaroo, Danielle) at the 2014 National 7s Champs. With a strong background in league, touch and OzTag Shanice represented her country at Rugby 7s in the 2016 Commonwealth Youth Games.

Draw:

Day 1 fixtures – Friday, August 25 2017 (all times AEST)

2.20pm v Macquarie University

4.20pm v Griffith University

6:20pm v University of Adelaide

University of Canberra

Squad:

Ash Kara (C), Kiahan Bellchambers, Sophie Broadhead, Sarah Carter, Regan Hart, Sammy Maxwell, Yasmin Meakes, Darcy Read, Cassie Staples, Janina Strauts, Talei Wilson, Sammie Wood

Player to Watch:

I reckon Cassie Staples is probably getting sick of being referred to as a “Youtube Sensation” but it helps it the telling of a great story and once again emphasises the unique recruitment strategies of Australian Coach Tim Walsh and his team. Staples was a State League netballer in NSW before a few strategically created training clips on-line caught the eye of those in the know. An Australian debut eventuated earlier this year and now her quick feet and lighting speed will be a key component of any Canberra success.

Draw:

Day 1 fixtures – Friday, August 25 2017 (all times AEST)

2.40pm  v University of Queensland

4.40pm  v Bond University

7.00pm  v University of New England

Bond University

Squad:

Stacey Flood (c),  Sophie Holyman, Madison Schuck, Jess Elliston, Georgie Page, Claire Boles, Sissy Masters, Bailey Marshall, Stephanie Rutherford, Trinity Mamoe, Katie Heffernan, Charlotte Caslick

Player to Watch:

It’s hard to go past Charlotte Caslick, but we will because she gets plenty of the attention already. So when Caslick doesn’t have the ball why not keep your eye out for Georgie Page. Just in keeping with the theme of Cassie Staples, Page is her own internet sensation as “The Rugby War Goddess”.  Google her and you will see the clip from her time in the US but she’s been back in Oz for a couple of years now training her bum off and playing club footy for Wests in Brisbane. The comp is an excellent opportunity for Georgie and her ilk to make a claim for higher honours.

Draw:

Day 1 fixtures – Friday, August 25 2017 (all times AEST)

3.00pm v University of New England

4:40pm v University of Canberra

6:40pm v University of Queensland

University of Adelaide

Squad:

Lucy Northcott, Zahn Anthony, Eva Karpani, Chloe Hourn-Smith, Lauren Kildare, Evania Pelite, Alice Gregory, Clair Alvino, Phoebe Linder Patton, Leah Phillips, Ellie Konopka, Rebekah Jones, Gemma Monaghan

Player to Watch:

I mentioned above the competitive edge the Aussie Women’s 7s team has and how they’ve worked so closely together over recent years to harness that desire to win into ultimate success. Evania Pelite has that in spades. As a ‘veteran’ of the side despite her relative youth, she’s been around the squad for about four years. With a touch footy background she used to play with Caslick and admire Emilee Cherry. And from this weekend – she must play against them! Let’s see if the All Black-esque team kit can give Pelite and her team the edge they need.

Draw:

Day 1 fixtures – Friday, August 25 2017 (all times AEST)

2pm v Griffith University

4pm v Macquarie University

6.20pmv University of Tasmania

Macquarie University

Squad:

Arabella McKenzie, Botille Vette-Welsh, Brittney Vanderhart, Claudia Bell, Dominique du Toit, Donnay Van Taak, Emily Chancellor, Katie Harrison, Layne Morgan, Nita Maynard, Page McGregor, Raecene McGregor

Player to Watch:

For one so young (only turning 20 this year) and relatively new to international 7s, Dom du Toit has a certain composure about her play that is impressive to watch. Yet another player to come from the Darling Downs region, du Toit made her World Series debut last year in Atlanta and traveled as a reserve to the Rio Olympics. The AON Uni 7s series will provide her a chance to step up and showcase her leadership abilities and to express her skills as a one of her team’s assigned professionals.

Draw:

Day 1 fixtures – Friday, August 25 2017 (all times AEST)

2.20pm v University of Tasmania

4pm v University of Adelaide

6pm v Griffith University

University of Queensland

Squad:

Mackenzie Sadler (c), Grace Kaihau, Lily Dick, Jannicke Ijdens, Emma Sykes, Georgia Hannaway, Emilee Cherry, Vetaronnica Tafito Fomai, Bodil Van Wijnbergen, Bri Rossato, Waytogo Rikk, Rebecca Goulding/Kobe Nona

Player to Watch:

One of the apparent consistencies when going through the background of a lot of the younger players of this Australian squad is the strong influence Emilee Cherry has had on their footy. The fact is there is not much that Cherry hasn’t achieved in the sport of Rugby 7s, but we Aussies have had bugger all chance to see her play in person. The influence of Cherry on the sport is already evident in the Australian squad as it stands now. The impact of her participation in this tournament on the next generation (and perhaps the generation after that) cannot be understated. 

Draw:

Day 1 fixtures – Friday, August 25 2017 (all times AEST)

2.40pm  v University of Canberra

5.00pm v University of New England

6.40pm v Bond University

Griffith University

Squad:

Phoebe Thomas, Katie Curtis, Eseta Aho Fangaloka, Laura Waldie, Katie Brock, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Demi Hayes, Alana Elisaia, Lauren Brown, Taylor-Adeline Mapusua, Ivania Wong, Eliza Flynn

Player to Watch:

With Shannon Parry off on World Cup duties, Demi Hayes becomes the go-to player for Griffith as their remaining Aussie 7s representative. Hayes, a student at Griffith, is another in the line of boom youngsters who Aussie Coach Tim Walsh brought into the fold post-Rio and made their World Series debut last year. Still a teenager Hayes has already demonstrated she has both the physicality to match it on the international stage but also the skill to give her team the edge.

Draw:

Day 1 fixtures – Friday, August 25 2017 (all times AEST)

2.00pm v University of Adelaide

4.20pm v University of Tasmania

6.00pm v Macquarie University

University of New England

Squad:

Rhiannon Byers, Kimberley Resch, Abby Schmiedel, Bea Roberts, Kennedy Cherrington, Langley Sesega, Alicia Quirk, Hannah Southwell, Brydie Parker, Riley McKay, Melanie Howard, Emma Gillogily 

Player to Watch:

Ok I’ll come clean – Alicia Quirk is one of my favourite Australian Rugby players. I still maintain her efforts in playing every minute in the Rio Olympics 7s tournament is simply exceptional and a credit to her fitness and toughness. But the thing with Alicia is that she has the smarts and skills too, as evidenced by her pinpoint pass in the Gold Medal game to put Vani Pelite away for a crucial try just before half time. She threw an even better one last year for Mahalia Murphy too. The type of player every team needs. 

Draw:

Day 1 fixtures – Friday, August 25 2017 (all times AEST)

3.00pm v Bond University

5.00pm v University of Queensland

7.00pm v University of Canberra

Prediction: 

No one wins from trying to pick the first round winner of a new tournament but I’ll go out on a limb and say the University of Queensland are going to continue on their winning ways (they won the QLD Premier Club Grand Final last week) with Bond University to push them all the way.

  • Huw Tindall

    “And watch you can as all matches will be live streamed on Rugby.com via Facebook Live.”

    Win. Now why can’t NRC do something similar for the overseas contingent? The rights holders in the UK (Sky) aren’t doing jack sh!t. Guess will have to install a VPN.

    Back to the uni 7s though. Looking forward to it. Would be a cracking Friday evening/Saturday day out. Don’t know if/how much they are charging but I’d be forking out as much as I would for a Shute Shield match.

  • nmpcart

    Looking forward to the Brisbane round in September, I will be there with my daughter so she can see these girls in action live. Let’s hope that they can get plenty of support, having just been at girls touch football tonight in Brisbane the sheer number of girls playing from all over is testament to the interest in this sort of sport for females. Now just to transfer that interest from touch to 7s.

    • RugbyReg

      yeah I’m super excited it. There’s an NRC at both QLD Rounds too so will be plenty of rugby watch.

      Apparently it’s pretty damn cold down there today so it will be interesting to see if that impacts the play

  • Pearcewreck

    This is great.
    Fantastic.
    Nice write up Reg.
    Please keep us posted over the weekend.

    • RugbyReg

      yikes. I will do my best. ARU will be covering it well. Live on facebook and updates through their twitter

  • Xaviera

    Good to see this incredibly worthy series get some oxygen – well done.

    And bugger me, you’ve tipped two QLD teams as favourites. Ah, the comfort of the predictable. :)

    • RugbyReg

      and look at that – the Gold Medal Semi Finalists. 3 out of 4 are QLD teams!

      Macquarie University v University of Queensland (Gold Medal Semi Final)
      Griffith University v Bond University (Gold Medal Semi Final)

      • Xaviera

        Bravo. If you tip QLD every time, eventually you’ll be correct…. :) Such a system may require more patience with the men.

        • RugbyReg

          and there you have it. UQ to play Bond Uni in the GF

  • RugbyReg

    Final day games as follows:

    Aon Uni 7s Series, Round 1, Finals Day Fixtures, Saturday 26 August:
    1.40pm: University of Adelaide v University of New England
    2.00pm: University of Tasmania v University of Canberra
    2.20pm: Macquarie University v University of Queensland (Gold Medal Semi Final)
    2.40pm: Griffith University v Bond University (Gold Medal Semi Final)
    3.40pm: 7th Place Play Off
    4.00pm: 5th Place Play Off
    4.20pm: Bronze Medal Match
    4.40pm: Gold Medal Match

Rugby Sevens
@RugbyReg

The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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