NZ & Australia unbeaten after Brazil day 1

(IRB.COM) Saturday 22 February 2014
 
 NZ & Australia unbeaten after Brazil day 1
Sarah Goss was again a standout player for New Zealand on day one of the #Brazil7s in Sao Paulo

We're at the midway point in the second ever IRB Women's Sevens World Series and the action has been as ferocious as the Brazilian sun.

Round three of this year's series kicked off in Arena Barueri in Sao Paulo on Friday, with raucous crowds turning out to welcome Rugby Sevens to the country - just two years before it joins the Olympics in nearby Rio de Janeiro.

The warm weather was certainly a change from last weekend in Atlanta, when snow had to be cleared off the pitch, but the excitement of playing in the 30,000 seater stadium meant all twelve teams stepped it up for Friday's action, despite the hot conditions.

New Zealand showed their class once again; Sean Horan's troops disposing of Ireland, USA and then against England in a classic that saw them steal it at the death with a try from last weeks MVP in Atlanta, Sarah Goss. 

They will now play Netherlands in the quarter finals on Saturday.New Zealand coach Sean Horan was happy with his sides performance today.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for us to experience the Brazilian way of things, the culture, especially as in another two and a half years we got Rio."

"There is a bunch of energy here and that's what I am really liking, and I think it has exceeded expectations. I'm really happy with our performances today."

Australia also finished the day unbeaten. Sharni Williams again lead from the front as they beat Argentina, Japan and Russia. They'll meet Japan in the quarters.

Canada faced a tough pool and had to grind it out in the first half against a plucky Brazilian team, playing in front of their home crowd for the first time in the series. But, in perhaps the biggest shock of the day, the Canadian side came unstuck against Spain, losing 26-28 in a thriller. They did however still qualify for the last eight of the Cup, and will face Spain in the quarters again on Saturday. 

Captain Jen Kish said the Brazilian heat was a factor in their performances on Friday.

"It was extremely hot and we are finding it really hard to adapt to the weather, communication goes down when you are exhausted and we are trying to adjust to it."

"We are under a bit of pressure, but it's good because we know a lot of people support us here. We want to show them that our Rugby is good and I believe we will be able to do this."

The other quarter final will feature England taking on Russia in what's sure to be a tight affair. The Bowl semi finals will feature hosts Brazil against Ireland while USA face Argentina.  

Speaking after day one's action in Sao Paulo, IRB Head of Competition and Performance Mark Egan said: Today saw more top class action from the Women's Sevens Series and it's a great sign coming into the Olympic Games in Rio in just two years."

"The crowds were great and really got behind their team and I can only imagine how great it can be in Rio 2016."

Day two from the #Brazil7s in Sao Paulo will again be streamed live on wsws.irb.com from kick off at 14.30 (GMT - 3). For more, make sure to follow on twitter @irbwomens and IRB Women's Rugby on Facebook.

 

WSWS - Brazil

Round 3
21-22 February 2014
Venue: Arena Barueri
City: Barueri, São Paulo
Capacity: 31,000

 
Series Standings
TeamPts
1New ZealandNew Zealand96
2AustraliaAustralia92
3CanadaCanada80
4EnglandEngland60
5RussiaRussia56
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Photos
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  • Ireland v Australia
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