Australia take Sydney Sevens title without conceding a point

Australia's women made history on Sunday at the Sydney Sevens by becoming the first team to go an entire World Series leg without conceding a point - a feat the group believes would be "near-impossible" to reproduce.

In another brilliant moment for Australian rugby, 539 days after the glory of gold at the Rio Olympics, Australia cruised to a five-tries-to-zip, 31-0 victory against New Zealand in front of an ecstatic home crowd.

After the heartbreak of last year, when Australia finished a disappointing fourth, the team rebounded to snap a five-game losing streak against their trans-Tasman rivals to claim a maiden Sydney Sevens title.

Incredibly, Australia managed to go through the entire tournament, across six matches, without conceding a point. They racked up 213 to their opponents' zero. The scorelines read: 29-0, 50-0, 43-0, 29-0, 31-0 and 31-0.

It is the first time in World Series history a team, male or female, has gone through a tournament without conceding a point.

"I'm just stoked with the way we performed," said coach Tim Walsh said, who earlier in the week said he would fist-pump if the team achieved a clean sheet. "Defence is all about desire and attitude and they certainly showed that."

Star player Emilee Cherry said she believed the one-sided manner of the victory, which was Australia's second World Series leg victory in a row, would be tough to be replicated.

"It's going to be a near impossible feat to re-enact again," Cherry said. "To do that on home soil and show our home fans what we're about ??? that's something special we'll always remember."

Co-captain Shannon Parry got Australia off to an excellent start just over a minute into play before Charlotte Caslick, Ellia Green, Evania Pelite and Emma Sykes all chipped in with five-pointers of their own to complete out a ruthless performance.

"Very proud of the girls to finish the tournament with a donut," Parry said. "We were calm in those crucial situations that we needed to be. We lost that last year in those crucial moments."

The highs of Rio will long live in the memories of those who were involved but the feat of showing a home crowd what they are capable of appears to have changed a few people's career highlights.

"That's definitely up there with the gold medal of Rio," Parry said. "To have family and friends in the crowd, to play on home soil, we don't get to do it that often. To see the green and gold is fantastic and I'm glad the public embraced it."

Walsh was asked the same question, to which he replied: "Winning two from two [legs this season] and playing some of the best rugby we'd ever played ??? it ranks high because of the work and because of the effort we've put in over a long period of time. Being here in Sydney, seeing all the players' friends and family like in Rio, is pretty amazing."

Even before Australia's stars of the rugby pitch began their task of taking down the Kiwis, Walsh believed they were in the right mindset.

Big smiles beamed across the faces of players during a pre-game national anthem.

"It echoes around the stadium and it was so good there standing shoulder-to-shoulder with your teammates," Parry said. "That tingling sensation that goes down your spine before you start belting it out ??? it was a great performance."

Walsh added: "We love a nation anthem. To be able to belt out the anthem is always pretty nice and to look at the girls smiling and enjoying themselves is good."

While the bucket-list item of winning a Sydney Sevens might be ticked off, its back to work in a few short days.

"We'll celebrate tonight and then I've already told them we're back to work on Wednesday," Walsh said.

This story Australia take Sydney Sevens title without conceding a point first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.