AON Uni 7s Series: Rnd 2 Preview

(Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)
AON Uni 7s Series: Rnd 2 Preview

The second round of the AON Uni 7s kicks off this weekend in Sydney as Macquarie University take their turn as hosts. After a highly successful inaugral tournament in Tasmania a couple of weeks ago, this is a perfect opportunity for Sydney-based rugby fans to experience high quality sevens rugby. Call it a pre-cursor to the Sydney International 7s next year.  To cap it off, the Sydney Rays will be making their 2017 NRC debut at the same ground at 3pm on Sunday arvo when they host the surprise packets of the first round, the Greater Sydney Rams.

While there was some uncertainty around the standard of rugby that would eventuate in the first round, those doubts were quickly doused as each of the University teams proved worthy combatants in a national competition. Further it showed that our Womens Rugby 7s depth is a in a very healthy state which can only make the current squad members hungrier to perform.

The University of Queensland, coached by Reg Tayler and with a squad boasting Aussie reps Emilee Cherry and Emma Sykes, proved too strong in Round One defeating a Charlotte Caslick inspired Bond University in the final to claim the first tournament of the season. Expect them to be just as strong this weekend however with a sprinkling of returning Aussie players, there’s a good chance of a different outcome this round. Regardless the quality should remain high and well worth the watch

And watch you can as all matches will be live streamed on

Let’s look at this teams for this round:


Macquarie University Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

The Macquarie University 7s team on the charge in Tasmania (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)


1. Emily Chancellor, 2. Dominique du Toit, 3. Olivia Brooks, 4. Layne Morgan, 5. Page McGregor, 6. Reacene McGregor, 7. Brittney Vanderhart, 8. Sarah Halvorsen, 9. Arabella McKenzie, 10. Chloe Dalton, 11. Botille Vette-Welsh, 12. Nita Maynard

Coach – Nathan McMahon


Chloe Dalton was actually one of the stars of the Tasmanian tournament but more from her off-field work. The injured Dalton was one of the commentators over the two days and proved a highly entertaining character and informed contributor. It will be on the field she’ll be looking to contribute this weekend however as she returns to the field to boost the home team after their third place finish in Round One. Expect Dalton to have a similar impact to the side that Cherry had with UQ, Vani Pelite had with Adelaide and Alica Quirk had with New England.


Day 1 fixtures – Saturday, 9 September 2017 (all times AEST)

11:00am v University of Adelaide

12:40pm v University of Canberra

2:40pm v Bond University


University of Tasmania of 1st Round of Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

The University of Tasmania will be out to improve on their first round (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)


1. Eugenia Dennison, 3. Sydnee Watanabe, 7. Lauren Murty, 8. Lauryn Cooper, 9. Caitlin Ryan, 10. Kiki Morgan, 11. Shanice Parker, 13. Olivia White, 21. Tahni Champion-Peakman, TBA Michaela Emblem, TBA Rebecca Hyland, TBA Eloise Struwe

Coach – Luke Burgess


Lauren Murty was one of the unknown players that really grabbed the eye in the first round. Now I am sure she is known by those who need to know, who are part of the development system, but to the general punter she was an exciting newby. And boy she was great to watch.  With an OzTag background her playmaking skills are honed as well as her ability to spot a gap and gas it. She is, to be fair, somewhat short of stature but it never was an issue in defence as she revelled in bringing down her larger opposition.


Day 1 fixtures – Saturday, 9 September 2017 (all times AEST)

10:20am v Griffith University

12:20pm v University of Queensland

2:20pm v University of New England


Sarah Carter University of Canberra Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

Sarah Carter charges through the Bond Uni defensive line (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)


1, Samantha Wood, 3. Darcy Read, 4. Yasmin Meakes, 7. Cassandra Staples, 8. Sarah Carter, 9. Sophie Broadhead, 10. Michaela Leonard, 11. Talei Wilson, 12. Samantha Maxwell, 13. Ema Masi, 14. Abby Gustaitis, 15. Ashley Kara

Coach – David Grimmond


After some preliminary investigation it’s apparent that the background of some of these players is remarkable and proof that a competition such as this is vital to find and develop our future national stars.  Sarah Carter has had a many and varied sporting history having already been selected to represent the ACT Women’s Rugby team this year as well as the Canberra Raiders women’s league team. Throw in her OzTag experience and her tireless performances in Round 1 are a little more understandable.


Day 1 fixtures – Saturday, 9 September 2017 (all times AEST)

10:40am v Bond University

12:40pm v Macquarie University

3:00pm v University of Adelaide

BOND UNIVERSITY (2nd in Round 1)

Stacey Flood for Bond University Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

Bond’s 007s captain, Stacey Webb (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)


1. Claire Boles, 2. Katie Heffernan, 3. Stacey Flood, 4. Brooke Walker, 5. Trinity Mamoe, 6. Millie Boyle, 7. Charlotte Caslick, 8. Hayley Butterworth, 9. Jessika Elliston, 10. Georgia Page, 11. Bailey Marshall, 12. Lucy J Lockhart

Coach – Ben Gollings


Bond Uni coach, English 7s legend Ben Gollings, has ensured that his talented rugby squad has plenty of experience mixed in. Charlotte Caslick is obviously the super star but it is Irish international Stacey Flood who captains the side.  Flood, who hails from Dublin, is one tough cookie and proved to be one of the best technical tacklers in Round One a fortnight ago.  As for someone who grew up playing soccer and Gaelic football, Webb’s pretty handy on her feet and with the ball as well.


Day 1 fixtures – Saturday, 9 September 2017 (all times AEST)

10:40am v University of Canberra

1:00pn v University of Adelaide

2:40pm v Macquarie University


(Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

Adelaide’s Eva Karpani bumps off another would be tackler (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)


1. Eva Karpani, 2. Ellie Konopka, 3. Mahalia Murphy, 4. Tyler Birch, 5. Rebekah Jones, 6. Vani Pelite, 7. Zahn Anthony, 8. Lauren Kildare, 9. Emma Pienaar, 10. Tamzin Filer, 11. Clair Alvino, 12. Alice Gregory

Coach – James O’Keefe


We’ve come to expect our Women’s 7s to be played a certain way in Australia. With a squad filled with speed and skill, our team plays with fantastic width and pace.  Sure we have power in the team through the likes of Elia Green, Shannon Parry and Sharni Williams. But none are really the run over the top of you type of player. Well Eva Karpani is that type of player. The South Australian local has been part of the Australian rugby system for a few years, in both the 15s and 7s programs, but this was my first sighting of her and she is awesome to watch. Of solid build she has surprising speed which means, when combined, she is one of the hardest to tackle players in the competition.


Day 1 fixtures – Saturday, 9 September 2017 (all times AEST)

11:00am v Macquarie University

1:00pm v Bond University

3:00pm v University of Canberra


Lily Dick University of QLD Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

Teenager Lily Dick speeds away from the Canberra chasers (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)


Emilee Cherry, Lily Dick, Grace Kaihau, Bodil Van Wijnbergen, Jannicke Ijdens, Georgia Hannaway, Marikki Watego, Bri Rossato, Mackenzie Sadler, Vetaronica Tafito Fomai, Emma Sykes, Sarafina Vosuqa

Coach – Reg Tayler


17 year old Lily Dick has had a busy couple of years.  In 2016 she was part of the all-dominating Queensland 7s team as they won the National Women’s Sevens title in Adelaide before backing up to captain the Youth Girls Queensland side in the National Youth titles in Perth. She has already caught the eye of Australian coach Tim Walsh and was part of the Gold Medal winning Australian side at this year’s Commonwealth Youth  Games. All that is part of her expected development but the chance to play alongside Emilee Cherry in this competition could be the finishing school she requires to reach the top.


Day 1 fixtures – Saturday, 9 September 2017 (all times AEST)

10:00am v University of New England

12:20pm v University of Tasmania

2:00pm v Griffith University


Griffith University Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea and her Griffith Uni teammates take a breather in Tasmania (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)


1. Eseta Aho Fangaloka, 2. Phoebe Thomas, 3. Nareta Marsters, 4. Alysia Lefau Fakaosilea, 5. Ashleigh Cooksley, 6. Sam Treherne, 7. Lauren Brown, 8. Laura Waldie, 9. Eliza Flynn, 10. Katie Curtis, 11. Ana Afuie, 12. Ellen Field

Coach – Moana Virtue


Ok, let’s get it out of the way. Yes Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea is related to Lolo of the Brumbies – he’s her cousin. But the pedigree doesn’t stop there. She also has test player uncles in Wallaby Will Skelton and All Black Mils Muliaina. But Alysia is quickly making a name for herself and was a standout performer for Griffith Uni a fortnight ago.  Alysia has been part of the highly productive Queensland talent indemnification system for a little while and it was easy to say why in Tasmania. Lefau-Fakaosilea is a high impact player with a wonderful workrate which is just the type of player that Tim Walsh likes in his national squad.


Day 1 fixtures – Saturday, 9 September 2017 (all times AEST)

10:20am v University of Tasmania

12:00pm v University of New England

2:00pm v University of Queensland


Hannah Southwell of University of New England tackled Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

Hannah Southwell of New England takes the tackle (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)


1. Abby Schmiedel, 2. Langley Sesega, 3. Hannah Southwell, 4. Brydie Parker, 5. Kennedy Cherrington, 7. Kim Resch,9. Bea Roberts, 10. Alicia Quirk, 11. Rhiannon Byers, 13. Kearni Churchland, 15. Mel Howard, 18. Kate Gilbert, 21. Inge Visser

Coach – Tom Bower


It’s fair to say that Hannah Southwell has some sporting ability. She set a record for being the youngest ever goalkeeper in the W-League (soccer) when she played for the Newcastle Jets as a 15-year old. Add to that her state caps in Junior cricket and clearly rugby has snared a prodigious talent.  With limited international experience on the World Series, this tournament is exactly the type of opportunity Southwell needs to showcase her game at a new level.


Day 1 fixtures – Saturday, 9 September 2017 (all times AEST)

10:00am v University of Queensland

12:00pm v Griffith University

2:20pm v University of Tasmania


It’s tough to go past University of Queensland again or their grand final opponent, Bond University. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say the home team Macquarie University, with the addition of Chloe Dalton, will take out the title.

University of QLD winners of 1st Round of Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

University of QLD – winners of 1st Round of Uni 7s (Photo credit ARU Media/Karen Watson)

2017 Aon Uni 7s Series Ladder: 

1st: University of Queensland, 20 points
2nd: Bond University, 18 points
3rd: Macquarie University, 16 points
4th:Griffith University, 14 points
5th:University of New England, 12 points
6th:University of Canberra, 10 points
7th: University of Adelaide, 8 points
8th: University of Tasmania, 6 points


The original prop in a prop's body, but thankfully I have the rugby mind of a prop as well.

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