The Sydney 7s is the fifth tournament of the 2019-20 World Rugby Series.  It is being held at  Paramatta’s Bankwest Stadium.  The new two-day series tournament format started in last week’s Hamilton 7s. 

This formal only allows the top team in each pool and the top second-placed team progress to the semi-finals. 

Entering the Sydney 7s, the Australians are currently ranked second in the series rankings with 64 points. 

Canada is close behind, after their second-place win last week at the Hamilton 7s, with 62 points.  First-place New Zealand’s hometown win shot them 12 points ahead of the Aussies. 

The need to win every match and the home town tournament are arguably just some of the factors behind this Australia team’s current motivation. 

The Aussies no doubt want to perform better than their fourth-place standing last week and close the gap with their trans-Tasman rivals, New Zealand.   

There are also several areas of improvement the Australians need to work on, notably their defending, their conversions, and their general sharpness, as they build towards their gold medal Olympic defence later this year in Tokyo.

Entering the Sydney 7s two changes in the squad from last week’s Hamilton 7s, the first tournament of this calendar year.  Charlotte Caslick and Shannon Parry both returned from injury displacing Emma Sykes and Rhiannon Byers.

The Sydney 7s would not be an easy task for the Aussies or any other team.  The first day proved to be especially difficult for those coming from colder climates. 

With the temperature and humidity reaching into the 40s in Sydney, it was a true Australian summer tournament.

Pool A was drawn with England, New Zealand, Japan, and Russia.  Pool B was drawn with Canada, Fiji, the USA, and Brazil.  Australia’s Pool C group contains France, Ireland and Spain.

On the first day of competition, February 1, 2020, Australia faced Spain and Ireland. 

Pool Game 1:  Australia vs Spain

The first game of the day might as well have been named the Charlotte Caslick and Ellia Green show. 

The two veteran Aussies demonstrated their skill, pace and most importantly knowledge of each other, supplying all the tries for Australia as well as nearly all the assists of the first pool match.