Red Card Curse Trips Australia in Rugby Sevens 

Red Card Curse Trips Australia in Rugby Sevens  1920 1280 ISPS Handa

Australian captain Charlotte Caslick wants to keep the aggression but shed the red card curse which cost the world’s best rugby sevens team their first loss of the season in Perth. 

Playing with only six players for nine minutes was too great a burden as the Australians fell 19-12 to Great Britiain in one of the shocks on Friday’s opening day at the HSBC SVNS Perth. 

The scores were locked at 7-all when Teagan Levi was red carded for a high contact on the judgement of the Television Match Official when she charged upright into a tackle that rocked Emma Uren.  

The Aussies kept fighting with a fine Bienne Terita try to take the lead but two Great Britain tries in the second half turned the tide at the death. 

The experienced Caslick consoled Levi and said she would never want to dial down the physical intent of her teammates. 

“I would never discourage her from the intent she has. Her aggression and the intent with which she carries the ball, and tackles, is one of her best attributes. It is just the way the tackle laws are being policed so we have to get our tackle height down which we have been working on,” Caslick said. 

On the charge…Madi Ashby. Photo: Brendan Hertel, Rugby Australia

“It’s got us into a bit of trouble. It might be a record, three tournaments, three red cards. 

“Obviously, we can’t win games all the time with six players. Moving towards Paris (Olympics) we have probably practiced every bad scenario that we possibly can.  

“We are either winning or learning so hopefully these incidents make us better, smarter footballers.” 

Coach Tim Walsh called it clearly: “Our technique has got to better.” 

The Australians are still through to the Sunday’s quarter-finals even with Saturday morning’s final pool game still to play against Ireland because of their losing bonus point and a 31-0 romp over South Africa. 

The Australian men scored a rousing 26-14 victory over Great Britain in their evening pool game after a 19-14 loss to the USA in extra time earlier in the day. 

They gave up a 14-0 lead to lose the opener and fought back from 0-14 to win the second. Such are the fluctuations of sevens. 

Young flyer Darby Lancaster skirted the defence to start the comeback while rookie Henry Palmer’s try was just reward as the fightback continued. 

“We had a fantastic training block and my expectations are higher that what we produced,” men’s coach John Manenti said. 

“Darby is obviously a fantastic finisher and there was sizzle to the Henry Palmer try too. We can’t put ourselves in the position of a slow start fo no reason when these are games of such small margins.”