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10 July 2016 | in World University Championships, Rugby

7th WUC Rugby 7s – Australia (M) and France (W) grab the Gold

 

 

SWANSEA – Devastation for Great Britain after Australia captain Conor Mitchell’s last-play try secured a 24-20 win to deny the hosts a third successive World University Championship title in Swansea. 

Great Britain held off a spirited French side 10-7 in their semi-final and despite Bath University’s Patrick Jenkinson and Christopher Levesley helping the Brits to an early 10-0 lead, the Uniroos refused to lie down.

Thomas Merrit, Fred Dorrough and Lachlan Anderson fired the Aussies into a 19-10 half-time lead.

CAN vs FRA

Loughborough University’s Samuel Pointon and James Beal edged the hosts 20-19 ahead by the time the hooter sounded, but Mitchell had the final say.

Durham University’s Robert Stevenson was proud despite the cruellest of losses. “Getting to the final is no mean feat and everyone left it out on the pitch, you can’t ask for much more than that,” the 20-year-old said. “We just didn’t quite get over the line, but I am immensely proud of all the boys and all they have put in over the past week.”

Australia punished Spain 43-0 in the semi-final and wrapped up their first World University Championship with an unbeaten record. Captain Mitchell was full of praise for both sides after clinching glory. “I knew if we could get the ball we could find away to the line and I am ecstatic,” the Queensland University of Technology student said. “Great Britain are a real quality side and it showed out there, but the boys dug in deep and it is just such an unbelievable feeling to win it.”

Men's Medal Podium

Matthew Ford scored twice to secure third place for the French, while 2018 hosts Namibia bagged a best-ever fifth-place finish with a 20-0 win over Italy.

French women’s captain Joanna Sainlo and Lenaig Corson both grabbed braces as they put two successive World University Championship final losses to bed with a convincing 31-5 victory against Canada.

A Blandine Gadioux hat-trick saw France ease past Portugal into the final, but it was Sainlo and Lenaig Corson who crossed in a lethal first-half display against the Canadians.

Despite Erika Scott’s try for Canada, Roxan Bilon put France out of sight after the break as she finished off superb French handling work in the corner before Corson’s second try iced the French cake. And captain Sainlo could scarcely hide her delight after wrapping up the title. “I am very, very proud of my team-mates, we played together and everybody is fantastic,” the French captain said. “I think Canada are a great team, but more individual than we are. We are a team, a real team and that helped us to win.”

Women's Medal Podium

Canada – who beat France in the 2014 final– had worked harder for their semi-final win, edging Japan 7-5 and came up short against a vastly experienced, powerful French side. Nevertheless, Canada endeavoured until the final whistle and stand-out Canadian Scott was philosophical in defeat. “I am really proud of us, it was a tough match and a tough tournament, but I am glad we made it to the finals”, she said. “It is not fun to lose, but I am proud of us anyway, from the beginning we have continuously improved, we came up harder in defence and attacked better.” 

Fan-favourites Japan too sealed their best ever finish of third at the Championship after beating Portugal 24-12 with another superb attacking display.

 

(Source: WUC Rugby 7s OC)

 

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