Australia Sevens star Bella Nasser is relishing her first taste of glory with the side after her debut season.
It was almost a full year ago the 21-year-old burst onto the scene at the Cape Town event after plying her trade in the Queensland system.
The season proved as a learning curve for Nasser and the team, who were coming off a Triple Crown-winning year.
Nasser was one of two players in the team to not taste victory on the World Series as the Aussies ended the Black Ferns' 41-game streak.
“It’s my first win which was so crazy. Dubai always is such an amazing atmosphere and such a good tournament so to be able to take out my first one and the first one of the season in an Olympic campaign, it’s unreal,” Nasser told Rugby.com.au “It was so good to get to do it alongside all the girls and all the team which we’ve been working really hard all together so it was unreal and such a good experience."
The other player was close mate and fellow UQ product Kaitlin Shave, the latest debutant in the program.
The two have a close bond since first playing touch for Brisbane Mustangs almost a decade ago, with Nasser setting up Shave for her debut try.
“We’ve had the whole ride together which has been amazing and then seeing her debut, I teared up a little when she scored her try,” Nasser admits.
“Obviously, Katie and I have a really good relationship away from sport and we always have and then to celebrate our first World Series win and then celebrate the try and debut, it was a dream come true for both of us. I couldn’t have scripted it a better way.
“…We’ve been through the highs and lows of both footy on and off the field so we’ve always had each other’s back. It was just super cool to see us both reach this level and obviously get the win, which was unreal.”
Nasser returns to South Africa with fond memories, already turning her attention towards back-to-back titles.
“It’s pretty crazy to think it was a year ago this tournament I was debuting,” she reflects. “I feel like (Tim) Walshy and Tom (Carter) and my coaches ‘Chezzy’ (assistant Emilee Barton) and teammates have been a really big impact on my development over the year. “I feel really confident within the team and I feel really confident about my teammates. I know they’ll do the job and I want to be the player to go out there and my teammates are able to look at me and know that I’ll be able to do my role in the team.
“...It was such an exciting weekend. We had worked really hard in the preseason to get that result (but) the celebration has to obviously hold because we’ve got Cape Town to focus on.”