'Embrace the moment': Hero Hinds reflects on game-winning strike after SVNS triumph

Thu, Jun 6, 2024, 12:15 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Tia Hinds converts after the buzzer to deliver a Grand Final spot at SVNS Madrid

Tia Hinds has opened up on her game-winning kick that powered Australia to the SVNS title in Madrid.

Hinds stepped up and nailed the sideline conversion in their epic semi-final victory over New Zealand, with the Aussies scoring twice in the space of 90 seconds to down their arch-rivals.

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

The 21-year-old was also influential in the Final victory over France, claiming the overall title in the inaugural Grand Final event.

“I try not to watch (the kick) but we do a lot of work at training just kicking under fatigue and Walshy calls it 'embrace the moment'," she told Rugby.com.au about her conversion.

“He’ll just give me the footy and make me kick a goal from any point where we score or kick a restart and I have to nail it.

“Being out there to do that under fatigue helps me in those pressure situations where I have to do it.”

Hinds has filled the void left by Madison Ashby after her season-ending ACL injury, stepping into that playmaker role alongside captain Charlotte Caslick.

“Maddie and I are slightly different players, she’s a lot more electric with her movement and I’m more of a distributing player,” Hinds said.

“It’s just being able to give the ball to the threats like Charlotte next to me in the middle and setting up edge players like Faith (Nathan) and Maddi (Levi) to score tries.”

It caps a rollercoaster journey for Hinds over the past 12 months to emerge as a central piece towards Australia's gold medal push.

Hinds was omitted from the squad for the opening three events before returning for Vancouver after an injury to good mate Bienne Terita.

It opened the door for 'Dolly' to shine, eventually working her way into the starting side for the final rounds of the series.

“(It’s) just making every opportunity count," she explained.

“I was very fortunate to be able to come back into the side due to some injuries so just take every opportunity I can to prove my worth to the team and keep building and learning.

“There was definitely a lot of motivation with the Olympics…I was just getting all the feedback I could from Walshy and working at home, getting around the girls so that when they come back to training I’m putting my best foot forward and when I then get my opportunity to come, I’m able to perform."

Last week's win has the Australians sitting as one of the favourites to take out gold in Paris, with the team to be announced at the start of next month.

“We just really wanted to keep building through the season starting off well in Dubai and Cape Town,” Hinds explained.

“We knew that we wouldn’t be able to stay up the whole time so being able to finish back on top at the end puts us in really good stead for the Olympics.

“…There’s always going to be ups and downs in Sevens, it’s a real cruel sport like that when any team can win on any day.

“The ability for our team to just take a hit and still be able to come back and give performances has been really good from the girls.”

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