PERTH: Australia’s crack women’s sevens team suffered its first ever loss to Great Britain after Teagan Levi was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Emma Uren.
It was Australia’s first loss in the 2023-24 world series – having won the opening tournaments in Dubai and Cape Town – but continued a worrying trend of ill discipline.
Levi’s red card followed those to sister Maddison in Cape Town and Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea in Dubai.
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They were good enough to get away with playing with six in those games but it bit them in Perth as Britain claimed a historic 19-12 win.
”We should be the Aussie sixes at the moment,” coach Tim Walsh said.
“We’re playing with six players a lot.”
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Walsh said the repeated infringements were definitely a concern.
“Evidence suggests yes. I mean it’s the laws of the game and it’s for the welfare and safety of the players. So we have been working on it, just to get that front foot in and get a little bit lower.
“But obviously we’ve got to work a little bit harder.”
Despite the shock loss, Australia did enough on day one to book a place in the quarter-finals, regardless of the result in their final pool game against Canada on Saturday.
“Look, we didn’t expect to go through undefeated all season,” Walsh said.
“So this one’s definitely a learning game. And having to play with six, it forces us to work a lot harder.”
Meanwhile, Australia’s men bounced back from an opening loss against the United States to beat Great Britain 26-14 in the final game of a lively day at HBF Park.
Australia will play Ireland in their final pool game on Saturday with a quarter-final berth still not assured.
Consistency remains elusive.
“It’s a massive work on for us, always has been,” coach John Manenti said.
“When we’re good we’re red hot, Cape Town a great example of that, we’re certainly long way from hitting our straps yet.”
“It’s not nerves or tension, we just have to be better.”