The Australian Women’s and Men’s Sevens kick off their 2022 campaign on Friday evening as they return to the Sevens World Series in Malaga, Spain.
In a notable change for the men’s program this weekend, Henry Hutchison will take control of the team and temporarily replace Nick Malouf as captain. In the women’s program, Bienne Terita is expected to make her international debut, while Cassie Staples returns to race day for the first time since 2020.
The women’s team has once again been drawn into Pool A and will face Belgium, Ireland and Spain, with a revised draw with Fiji and New Zealand no longer competing.
At the same time, the men were drawn at the top of Group B after their second place in Dubai. Here they compete against Japan, Ireland and Germany.
The weekend’s tournament marks the first appearance of both sides in the World Series since their coaching staff changes in 2021. John Manenti will lead the men’s program and take over from Tim Walsh, who has returned to the head coach role with the women’s team.
Australian Sevens Pool Fixtures – Malaga, Spain
Friday 21 January
Australian women 40 beat Belgium 5
The Aussie Women’s Sevens opened their campaign in Malaga in style with a convincing 35 point win over Belgium. Dominique Du Toit crossed for the Australian for the first two tries before Charlotte Caslick extended the lead at half time.
Demi Hayes crossed for her first try of the year and came out of the blocks during the second half. Hayes was followed shortly by Maddison Levi and then Tia Hinds at the stroke of full time. The Aussie Women’s Sevens take on Ireland the following Saturday morning.
Australian men 12 equal with Germany 12
The Australian Men’s Sevens drew 12-12 with Germany in their opening game of the Malaga Leg of the Spain World Series. Both teams were scoreless at halftime, however, with debutant Nathan Lawson opening the scorecard early in the second half before Germany struck back.
Eager to extend the lead, Lawson crossed over again for his second try in the closing moments of the game. However, Germany would have the last word and sign with the Aussies for their first game together since 2008.
Saturday January 22
Australian men 42 defeated Japan 0
The Aussie Men’s 7’s jumped back in their second Pool B game to take a convincing 42 point win over Japan. Australia scored six tries with Corey Toole doubled in the top half, followed by Josh Turner and Dietrich Roache to give the team a 28-0 lead at halftime.
Maurice Longbottom made his long-awaited return to the scorecard in the second half, followed by a cross from Nathan Lawson for the last try, adding to Australia’s convincing win.
Australian women 17 defeated Ireland 12
The women’s team continued their unbeaten run against Ireland, beating the side 17 v 12 in a narrow win in Malaga. With Ireland striking first, Madison Ashby would quickly take revenge on the Australian, tying the scores at halftime.
Quickly out of the blocks, Ireland crossed again. Faithful as it was, Ashby found the line again before a stampede from Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea secured the win for the Aussie girls 17 – 12.
Australian women 20 defeated Spain 0
The Aussie Women were able to extend their unbeaten run in their last game of the group rounds against Spain. Maddison Levi dominated the first half, using her speed and strength to score two quick attempts. Charlotte Caslick closed the first half with a try of her own after an offload from teammate Lily Dick.
It was all defense in the second half, with Spain reviving looking dangerous with the ball in hand. Australia was able to hold on, however, with Demi Hayes scoring the only try of the half in the final minutes to finish the game 20-0, once again surpassing Group A.
The Aussie Women then take on Canada at 1:59 AM AEDT.
Australian Men v Ireland, 22:33 AEDT