The 5th leg of the Women's World Series saw the Aussie Women 7s team head to Langford, Victoria in Canada. We were currently sitting 4th overall on the World Series Ladder, with the top 4 teams this season earning automatic qualification for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
We left Sydney on Sunday 5th May and arrived in Canada the same date via 2 flights. Whilst travelling we try as hard as possible to adjust ourselves to our arriving destination’s time zone in order to reduce any side effects of jetlag.
We stayed in a beautiful part of Canada at a resort on Bear Mountain, which had an incredible golf course, abundant bushland, and views of the snowy mountains in Washington State. We are so lucky with some on the destinations we get to play in. Once we were settled in we hit the ground running. Light weights and cross
training in the gym to get the blood flowing post flight and then a stretch and pool recovery to ensure we were ready for training days on the Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Monday was a relatively light session, with more of a skills focus and getting the legs ticking over. Tuesday is our heavy day with more conditioning, tactical play and contact. The Thursday session is focused on fine-tuning our skills, acquiring some high-speed running metres and ticking all the boxes in preparation for game day. Our gym sessions mimic a similar pattern with heavier loads Tuesday and then lighter plyometric based movements on the Thursday.
On our day off in Canada we completed a recovery session in the pool, had a team activity and a team dinner. Our team activity was an escape room. No team was able to get out of their rooms and ended up more frustrated with each other than happily bonded but it was still a good laugh and time killer nonetheless.
At night times we go over analysis of the teams in our pool and also some potential cross over teams in quarterfinals and semi finals to ensure we are really prepared. The closer to game day it gets the more we focus solely on the other 3 teams in our pool.
On the Friday prior to game day we have a light captains run and go over anything major anyone wants to refresh. As the Canadian tournament was held on Astroturf (the most horrible surface to play contact sport on) we did some extra ball work as the bounce of the ball is a little bit different to grass and the kickers fine-tuned their restarts in accordance to the new surface.
That afternoon we had 2 on 1 meeting’s with our coaching staff, going over our individual focus points for the tournament and our individual and team performance indicators and goals. We finish the day off with a players only meeting and then head to bed early, super excited and ready for game day.
Day 1 saw us play Ireland, Brazil and Canada and winning all three games. The last game verse Canada was a great match up and its always good knocking off the home team and silencing the crowd.
Day 2 had a QF vs Russia, SF vs France and Final vs New Zealand. We unfortunately fell short of our 3/3 targets narrowly losing the final to NZ 21-17. A few defensive structure reads let us down in the final and not capitalising early enough on our opportunities. The result was a much-improved performance from the previous tournament in Japan and despite the result; there were some really promising take-outs.
We remain 4th on the World Series ladder but closed the gap between Canada, USA and us to only 6 and 4 points respectively and widened the gap from France by 14 points. A crucial point in our overall goal of automatically qualifying for the Olympics.
We returned to Australia with only a 3-week turn around until the final tournament leg in Biarritz. We have been drawn a tough pool of Canada, Ireland and Spain. 3 competitive teams and all chasing key qualification
points. A big last leg for us as we look to go one better than what we did in Canada and bring home the Gold from France.
Cauliflower Club was delighted to be approached by Sam Needs with the offer for proceeds from the Neck Protech initiative to be donated to CCA.
Neck Protech is a proactive solution for reducing the risk of suffering a life changing neck injury on the rugby field. It is the only solution in Australian rugby that focusses on prevention rather than reaction executive that includes what they do, how long they’ve been at it, and what got them to where they are.
You can check out more information and purchase a copy at https://scrumstrong.com/neckprotech/
Bought as an auction prize at the 2017 Annual Cauliflower Club lunch - the prize of a training session with a couple of ex-Wallabies was brought to life on a chilly Friday afternoon in Forbes. Ahead of the big CCXV v Forbes Old Boys game on 28th, the juniors got their turn in the spotlight.
The clinic was run by former Wallabies Dean Mumm, Mark Hartill and Dave Carter - all of whom got as much out of the session as the young players.
There were approximately 80 players made up of U7's; U9's; U11's; U13's; U15's and U17's for the training session. The session featured a range of drills and a lot of laughter, with our trainers being more puffed that the young recruits.
With the clinic running on until 7pm, many had to be dragged back from the BBQ line to wrap up the proceedings. It was a fantastic session and hopefully will encourage these young stars to continue with rugby into the future.
Cauliflower Club sponsored this recent event
We are delighted that Norths Juniors will be supporting Cauliflower Club this season. They will feature our logo on the sleeve of their jersey and provide awareness and education through their online presence.
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