Australia Women into Vancouver semi-finals as Men fall in group stages

Sun, Feb 25, 2024, 5:51 AM
by AAP
Faith Nathan scythes through for a try in the quarter final of SVNS Vancouver.

Australia's men have been caught in French star Antoine Dupont's path during a disappointing Vancouver world series leg, but Tim Walsh's table-topping women have reached the final four.

World Rugby's player of the year Dupont announced himself to the code's short-form with a brilliant solo try in France's 31-5 defeat of John Manenti's men on Sunday (AEDT).

Watch every round of the HSBC SVNS Series exclusive, ad-free and live on Stan Sport. 

Dupont dashed from the scrum base and dummied his way through the line to score his first sevens try in his debut tournament as the 15-a-side halfback eyes an Olympic appearance on home soil in July.

That loss completed a disappointing 0-3 pool stage for the 2022 World Series winners. Australia then came from behind to beat Spain 19-14 to line up a tussle for 10th place with South Africa on Monday.

The women, who have two wins and a silver from three events so far, will play France for a spot in the final after edging out USA in extra time then cruising past Fiji 35-19 in the quarter-final.

Maddison Levi went the length of the field for a golden-point try in their 17-12 defeat of the Americans and scored early against Fiji as they led 21-0 after just six minutes.

Walsh's side have defied constant poor discipline, particularly high tackles, to remain the team to beat this season.

Madison Ashby was handed a three-match ban for a high shot in their opening match against Japan whilst Teagan Levi will not feature again in Vancouver after a four-game ban for a similar tackle.

The pair of suspensions and injuries to Bienne Terita, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea has tested the depth of the Commonwealth Games champions, with Tia Hinds particularly impressive on her World Series return.

But the coach wants to stamp it out ahead of the Paris Games in July.

"There's obviously an issue there we have to sort out; it's just breaking a habit," he said. 

"So we'll be continuing to work on that and make sure that we are getting the front foot in and dipping, and giving the referee the right picture, and making sure that every player's looked after from a welfare point of view.

"It's just something that we have to accept, take full accountability for it, and be better for it."


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