World University Rugby Sevens end on a high

The fast, furious and exciting competitive matches which have taken place at the World University Championship Rugby Sevens cumulated in a dramatic last minute try which gave the Australian men’s team the title for the first time.

The action has been non-stop with men and women players battling it out for the winner’s trophy’s during the week.

Rugby 7s day 3

 

In the final day of women’s competition, newcomers New Zealand saw off rivals and fellow first timers Australia, whilst PR China overcame Spain to cap an impressive tournament for them in front of a rapturous reception from their fans at the end of the game. It came off the back of two days of great rugby by them, almost shocking Canada and chalking up two impressive victories. Great Britain beat Italy with a last-gasp try by Abagail Walker to take 5th spot as host nation, as they battled back well and showed real grit and determination to take the win. The 3rd/4th place Playoff between Japan and Portugal was an exceptionally tight 12-12 at half time, with some free flowing rugby before two break away tries down the left saw Japan win 24-12 and secure 3rd place.

rugby 7s pic 2

In the final, this year’s dominant force France took the crown from the reigning champions Canada, with a resounding victory after their initial breakaway try by Joanna Sainho was cancelled out by Erika Scott’s pacey score. Lenaig Corson stretched the lead for the French, before Sainho got her second in the corner putting France almost out of sight, leading 19-5 at half-time. In the second half, Canada defended valiantly, but the waves of Les Blues kept coming and tries from Bilon and a second from Corson saw them take the title in style, 31-5.

 

In the men’s competition, the Czech Republic marked their first tournament with a couple of scores in their matches, finishing in 9th. Malaysia, who added some real colour and vibrancy to proceedings took 8th, with Argentina finishing strongly with two victories to take home 7th. 2018 hosts Namibia took home their best ever placing of 5th by displaying their characteristic free-flowing rugby. They beat an Italian side that have chalked up two wins over the course of the tournament and returned home in 6th. The 3rd/4th placed playoff saw France, who have had a very strong tournament overcome a Spanish team who had raced into an early 7-0 lead, but were pegged back to 7-5 at half time by Matthew Ford after a sustained period of pressure. Sylvian Dufond (2), Ford again and Prier made sure France took the 3rd place their performances deserved.

The final saw a rematch of the tight game yesterday, as host nation and two-time defending champions Great Britain took on newcomers Australia. Great Britain stunned the boys in gold early, as Patrick Jenkinson finished off five phases of play to go over in the corner. Two minutes later, Christopher Levesely danced his way through the Australian defence to put them 10-0 ahead, but Australia showed their class by bouncing straight back with three scores of their own through Lachian Anderson, Fred Dorrough and Thomas Merrit to lead  19-10 at half time. The second half saw some big hits and strong, physical play at the breakdown, until Pointon went over. Great Britain continued to surge forward and the pressure told as Adams was sin binned for Australia and James Beale bundled over to take Great Britain into a one point lead. It was a frantic finish and a penalty in the last second saw Australia push right, with Conor Mitchell going over in the corner for a dramatic winner right at the death, meaning they win the championship at their first attempt. It was a fitting end match to a brilliant tournament.

The four day sevens tournament ended with the presentation of gold, silver and bronze medals to the successful teams and closing speeches by Craig Nowell, Chair of the Local Organising Committee, Swansea University and Colleen Dufrense, FISU Executive Committee member and the playing of the FISU Anthem. The ceremony concluded with the presentation of the FISU flag to Namibia who will be hosting the next championships in 2018.

  • Swansea University and British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) hosted the 2016 FISU World University Rugby Sevens Championships from Wednesday 6th – Saturday 9th July.
  • The international competition welcomed 19 rugby sevens teams – 9 male and 10 female – from 14 nations, to the second largest city in Wales for three full days of rugby competition and a comprehensive cultural programme.
  • Globally, the Championships have been a breeding ground for future sevens stars, including current England Sevens Captain Tom Mitchell.
  • This biennial tournament took place for the first time in China in 2004 and has travelled the globe but this is the first time that it has taken place on UK soil.
  • The 2016 championships welcomed the traditionally strong rugby nations of New Zealand, Australia and the Czech Republic for the first time. They added an extra layer of excitement to an already thrilling competition – one which had been dominated by Great Britain success in previous years.
  • The hosts were aiming for a repeat 2012 result when Team GBR Women and Men both won the WUC Rugby Sevens title making Great Britain the first country to win both titles in the same year.
  • Team GBR men’s squad, were looking to make it three in row – adding to their tournament wins in France in 2012 and Brazil in 2014. GB men shared a pool with strong international sides Australia and Italy.
  • The GB women’s team were fighting hard to win back their 2012 title after Canada pipped them to the post in the last tournament held in Brazil. They avoided Canada in their pool but had to negotiate challenging fixtures against New Zealand and France.
  • Canada women’s side has won the WUC Rugby Sevens title more than any other team: an unprecedented 3 times.
  • The fourteen nations represented were;Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Namibia, Portugal, Spain, New Zealand.
  • The event falls under the world governing body for university sport – FISU and is one of 33 championships held across 2016. On alternative years, World University Games (Summer Universiade) are held – events that are considered second to only the Olympics.
  • Having played host to the 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships and European Touch Rugby Championships, Swansea University has an outstanding reputation for delivering international sporting events and also for producing some notable players and coaches including Alun Wyn Jones, Wales International Rugby player and Ospreys and Robert Howley, Wales International Rugby player and currently Wales team assistant coach.
  • The World University Championship will be delivered utilising the resources and networks of a number of partner organisation including Swansea University, British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) and the Welsh Rugby Union.
  • As a team training base during the Rugby World Cup 2015, the Swansea University International Sports Village’s high calibre facilities boast an international reputation utilised by the Canada, Fiji and New Zealand national rugby teams amongst a range of other distinguished sporting teams and athletes.
  • Swansea University have strived to turn the event into a sevens festival spectacular and will feature a School’s Day on Thursday, giving over 300 pupils and staff from local schools a chance to see world quality skills in action.
  • The 2016 World University Championships for Rugby Sevens were jointly hosted by Swansea University and British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS). The World University Championships (WUC) are part of the sporting events of the International University Sports Federation (FISU). Alternating with the Summer and Winter Universiades, they are organised every even-numbered year.
For more information
Visit the event website: http://www.wucrugby2016.com/
Visit the FISU website: http://www.fisu.net/en/FISU-Rugby-3577.html