Levi hat-trick delivers Australia SVNS championship in Madrid

Sun, Jun 2, 2024, 6:27 PM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Maddi Levi bags her hat-trick in the Grand Final of SVNS Madrid

Australia Women's Sevens have been crowned SVNS champions after a physical 26-7 win over France in the Final in Madrid.

A hat-trick to Maddison Levi proved the difference as the incredible try-scorer added to her growing tally to seal the win.

Catch every game of SVNS World Series LIVE, ad-free and on demand on Stan Sport.

They booked their place in the decider with a rollercoaster victory over New Zealand in the semi-final, with a Tia Hinds conversion after the siren taking down the League Winners.

The Aussies were able to replicate their efforts from the group stages where they took down the French, running away with the game late to take the title and major momentum into next month's Olympics.

“I think we’ve had a really good weekend, we’ve just been clinical in our attack and defended our hearts out. It’s nice to be back on top," captain Charlotte Caslick said.

“…I think you’ve noticed how resilient our team is for such a young group of girls, the way to adapt to change and bounce back from adversity is really inspiring.

“They have so much more to give and they make me really proud and motivated to keep getting better.”

It was a nervy start for the Australians but Faith Nathan’s long-range try got them on the board first as she exposed the space with Anne-Cecile Ciofani down injured at the ruck.

The pressure of the French was relentless as they forced Australia back into their in-goal, allowing Yolanie Yengo to dive over from the resulting five-metre scrum and level the scores.

France kept their momentum rolling into the break but couldn’t capitalise on re-gaining the restart as both sides went into half-time level.

Captain Caslick’s impassionate message to treasure the ball at half-time was meant with a ruthless approach by the Commonwealth Games champions and try-scoring weapon Maddison Levi that proved the difference.

Levi burst through two defenders after the switch play with Caslick for her 11th of the weekend and 67th of the season two minutes into the half.

She added her second shortly afterwards when Nathan was dragged down metres out, with the Aussies spreading it to the other wing to extend the lead.

The hat-trick was completed with 30 seconds to go as the combo with Caslick delivered again for her 69th try to deal the SVNS title.

It puts Levi second all-time for most tries in a series by a man or woman, only behind Vilimoni Delasau's mark of 83 in 2000.

“I think we struggled to return the ball in the first half so it’s pretty hard to play Sevens when you don’t have no ball and defending," Maddison Levi said post-match.

“The conversation (at half-time) was around treating the ball with care and not giving away those silly penalties or offloads. I think that changed and we started to get a roll on when we had more momentum.

“We like to put on display our defence in the thrive moments as we call them but I think our defence is what is winning us games. We’re so lethal in attack but defence is what brings us together and having the culture of playing with girls who you consider your sisters is what’s getting us over the line.”

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