After terrific performances on Day 2, the University of Adelaide Roma’s secured fifth position in the third round of the AON Universities Sevens series.
Day 1 Highlights
Day one of competition saw the Roma’s kick off their campaign against the University of Sydney. A slow start and lack of possession in the match saw it get away from the Roma’s with a final score of 24 points to 0. Two key moments in the match saw the 50/50 call go against the home team and momentum all but vanished.
Next up, Griffith University. A season of close matches against the Round 2 champions set the Roma’s up for a mouth-watering match. The game was evenly contested right throughout but two tries back-to-back gave Griffith the win, but it wasn’t without a fight. Jasmine Joyce bagged a hat trick, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the rest of the team performing their jobs. Final score 28 points to 9, in favour of Griffith.
The final match of day one was against the University of Melbourne. The Roma’s were determined to finish the day on a high and from the outset they set the tone, running away winners with a score line of 33 points to 0. D’Arcy Sadler was a shining light in the match with Joyce bagging another hat trick, alongside Zara Lee and Sadler each picking up a try. A strong win set a positive mood within camp heading into day two.
Day 2 Highlights
Day two saw the Roma’s play our final pool match against the University of Western Australia (UWA). Three tries within 4 minutes of the first half caught the Roma’s by surprise and set us an uphill battle to get the win. A strong second half allowed the Roma’s to claw back the deficit, but UWA gained a penalty within 22 meters of our line and took the quick tap to head in under the posts to secure victory. Final score 26 points to 19 in favour of UWA.
Despite three pool losses, the for-and-against record kept the Roma’s in third position, which set up a fifth-place semi-final against Bond University.
The Roma’s took the field with extreme determination to ensure we progressed to the fifth/sixth place playoff. In a match that had everything, the Roma’s scored three tries, courtesy of Joyce and Mahalia Murphy. The match was an absolute nail-biter that could have gone either way, but luckily they ran out winners 17 points to 10.
The final match for the weekend was against the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) for another fifth-place playoff. In one of the best displays of the weekend, both teams battled it out with the lead changing a number of times as each team hit back after a try being scored. Joyce scored two tries, including the match winner, alongside Bree Nathan scooting around an edge for an awesome solo effort. The try of the match was set up by a trademark Eva Karpani run, as she carried a UTS player 35 metres downfield and passed the ball to an ever-present Lauren Potter, who shot away for a try under the posts. The final score favoured the home team, as the Roma’s won the match 24 points to 21.
A slow start to the home tournament made it hard for the Roma’s to jump up into the top four- but, true to form and consistency, they claimed the 5th place title for the third round in a row, taking them to 36 series points.
Head Coach James O’Keefe paid tribute to the girls for managing to come back and securing fifth place after a hard start:
“We were at home and after our 2018 success at our home tournament, I think it was a lot to live up to. We had some unlucky calls throughout the weekend taking away momentum which knocks you out of matches.
The team really pulled through the tournament turning it on when it was really critical, the matches against Bond and UTS were some of the best rugby we had played over the weekend.
Looking ahead to round four at the University of Canberra, we will have a couple players return from injury which will bolster the team with experience, we are keen to shake that fifth place placing and really dig deep to finish the year off strong”.