Chloe Dalton has spectacularly produced the first medal from among the Sydney University representatives competing in Rio.
Current Elite Athlete Program member and University of Sydney Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) student, Chloe Dalton, has created history in Rio de Janeiro today, winning the first Olympic gold medal in Women’s Rugby Sevens with the Pearls, after their 24-17 result over New Zealand at Deodoro Stadium.
Dalton converted two of Australia’s four tries which were scored by Emma Tonegato, Evania Pelite, Ellia Green and Charlotte Caslick.
Kayla McAlister was first to cross in the Trans-Tasman showdown, grounding in the corner to put the Kiwis up 5-nil in the opening 5 minutes, only to lose the lead by way of Emma Tonegato’s pearler sideline try which levelled the board 5-all.
Only minutes left before the half, a sin bin to New Zealand’s Portia Woodman handed Australia a one player advantage, and with this Australia’s Evania Pelite kicked into gear, attacking the left edge for the try.
Australia led 10-5 at the break and turned on a thrilling second-half display which saw the trio touches of Charlotte Caslick to the inside of Emilee Cherry and through to winger Ellia Green running the length of the field. Dalton then added the two in between the sticks, 17-5.
From here, Charlotte Caslick accelerated to stretch the lead and get the Aussies home, 22-5. Dalton then chipped in with a successful conversion, 24-5.
New Zealand responded with a second McAlister try to narrow the margin to 14 points, 24-10.
Using their momentum, New Zealand managed a late consolation try to Woodman but by this stage the hooter sounded an Australian victory. A determined New Zealand converted, 24-17.
It is never easy carrying the mantle of tournament favourite going into the biggest Rugby Sevens tournament ever and the Pearls showed their class against arch rivals.
Congratulations to Chloe Dalton and all of the Women’s Rugby Sevens team on their great success in addition to their maiden World Series victory earlier this year.
In the battle for bronze, Canada defeated Great Britain, 33-10.
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