The Australian Steelers have qualified for today’s IWRF Asia Oceania Championship gold medal match after a loss and a win yesterday, but will need to prepare for a gusty battle if they are to defend their regional title.
Although they are the World No. 1 ranked team, the Steelers were taken down by Japan 65-70 in their final preliminary match of the tournament, which went into quadruple overtime.
With both Japan and Australia unbeaten until this point, the Steelers were then forced to forge another path to the gold medal match; a semi-final clash against New Zealand just hours later. The Steelers prevailed to win 63-44.
Consistency was key to winning the match. Australia led from the beginning scoring 17 tries in the first quarter, 16 in the second, adding 18 more in the third and rounding it off with 12 in the fourth. The Steelers also only gave up one turnover, which came from an offensive spin.
“The semi-final was about self-preservation. Having had to play two games today, we were trying to get to the final tomorrow in the best shape possible, and we did that by giving our emerging athletes more time on court,” Head Coach Brad Dubberley said.
VIS Athletes: Ben Fawcett (Vice Captain) Andrew Harrison, Jayden Warn