NSW and Queensland split the awards at the National Youth Sevens for Under 17 players in Perth yesterday. The NSW Blue team won the boys competition and Queensland Red took the honours for the girls.
Western Australia had an outstanding tournament as their boys and girls earned the bronze in their respective competitions when they dominated opponents in the play-offs.
Fearless Green & Gold reporter “Iloverugby24/7″ reports from the ground.
Day 2 review by “Iloverugby24/7″
South Australia 24 – Northern Territory 15
This was a the battle to avoid the wooden spoon. NT scored two tries early, however SA responded with two cracking five-pointers of their own. Then the northerners had a player sent off and the southerners capitalised.
NT didn’t lie down and responded with their own try late in the game but the class of SA shone through when they created a 60-metre try on the bell for an emphatic win.
National Indigenous 24 – Queensland White 10
The Indigenous lads continued their attacking style and scored around the fringes from some scintillating running from their no. 6 and 10 . The Queensland II attack was found wanting when they had ball in hand.
NSW White 28 – ACT 12
The NSW Twos finally got their act together and played a fine attacking game of rugby.
No.7 Johnny Mitsias scored three solo tries and got an honourable mention by the ARU officials at the end of the day. It was a particularly impressive display since NSW won despite having a player sent off in the second half.
ACT will be ruing opportunities lost at these championships. They were capable of brilliance, but could not rise to the occasion in important games such as this one.
Semi-finals & Play-offs
NSW Blue 12 – Western Australia 0
Although NSW Blue scored just two tries they didn’t let WA into the game despite suffering a high penalty count against them.
Features of the match were an impressive try by the NSW no. 8 and fine performances by Will Harrison and the no. 6.
Queensland Red 32 – Victoria 0
The Queensland Ones peaked at the right end of the tournament with a dominant display of Sevens’ rugby.
Victoria couldn’t earn much possession and the big, strong Red backs ran right through them. Could Queensland Red win the tournament after that fine performance?
Play-off 5th/6th – ACT 33 – Queensland White 14
ACT scored early with a brilliant solo try by their no.10. He’s only a small lad but has great feet and stepped through and outpaced three players to score.
He scored another with pure speed. This guy is one to watch and helped secure this game for the Territory, who were the ‘hot & cold’ team of the weekend.
Play-off 7th/8th – National Indigenous 31 – NSW White 7
National Indigenous were all class scoring breakaway tries up the middle of the ruck. NSW 7 Johnny Mitsias made an impact with a classy try when he came off the bench. He was one of the top try-scorers of the carnival.
However the Indigenous lads were far too good and deserved their win – and the appreciation of the crowd, because of their sparkling rugby all weekend.
Play-off 3rd/4th – Western Australia 22 – Victoria 7
Both teams played themselves to a standstill in a highly competitive game. It is a great testament to the competitiveness of this tournament that these two strong teams had to play off for the bronze.
In the end WA, the home team, won – which is a fitting result after hosting a wonderful tournament.
It was good to see the girls play for the first time on the main ground. It was appropriate that they scheduled this match just prior to the Boys’ final so these talented athletes could be seen by the full crowd.
Queensland Red 22 – NSW Blue 14
This was a fine win by the Queensland Ones after they had beaten WA 26-14 to reach the final.
At first it was a see-sawing game that showcased some exceptional skills by both teams. NSW led 7-5 at half-time.
However Qld punched back scoring two tries to lead 15 -7. The game was a real test of fitness since the finals had ten-minute halves.
NSW had to score twice but instead Queensland scored their fourth try with a minute remaining to clinch the gold. A NSW score in the final seconds could not help them.
I thought the best players were the NSW 13 and 1 – and the Queensland 2, 3 and 13.
NSW Blue 34 – Queensland Red 0
The standard in the final was exceptional. Both teams displayed scintillating attacking play coupled with excellent defensive structures, although Queensland missed some key tackles to blow out the scoreline.
Yes, NSW dominated the scoreboard but it felt as though they ground out the win.
The dominance of this NSW Blue team throughout the tournament took many by surprise but they got a head start through a rigorous selection process.
Hard training played it’s part but they looked so organised and in control across the park, all of the time – not easy to achieve across seven games – that you have to give credit to first-class coaching.
So that’s it folks. I hope that the short game summaries have provided a reasonably-balanced view across the weekend.
Well done to all players, coaches and managers on raising the standard of Sevens rugby in Australia.
Special mention must go the Players of the Tournament – Brydie Parker and Billy Smith – but, my word, it must have been tough to pick just two from the competition.
Also, a huge congratulation to ARU for organising the tournament, and to WA Rugby for hosting such a successful event.