THE Macquarie Uni Sydney Rays ventured into international competition for the first time at the weekend and come away with a major trophy from the Brisbane Super 7s.
The Rays travelled north to take on the likes Spain, Sweden and Wales as well as the Queensland Academy of Sport at the Super 7s at the Wests club in Brisbane and ended the weekend lifting the Bowl trophy over their heads in triumph.
Along the way they lost to Spain – a core team on the women’s World Series – 26-0 after trailing by only five points at halftime. They were right in the contest at that stage but a few things went against the Rays and the Spaniards got a couple of quick scores to seal the encounter.
But the Rays were able to hit back with a 36-0 win over QAS II and then really hit their stride on Day Two of the tournament with a 36-14 win over Sweden and then a 17-14 win over Wales in the Bowl final.
The Rays were behind 14-7 at the break in the game against Sweden but got their game in order and importantly got their hands on the ball and rattled up three quick tries in the first three minutes after halftime.
The win over Wales showed just how far this group has come since the Aon Uni 7s series and the win over a nation that will play at the Commonwealth Games on there Gold Coast in April shows the potential.
Head coach Nathan McMahon said: “The weekend really tested the girls and it showed that our program at the Rays is definitely heading in the right direction.
“We got to play against some of the teams that compete regularly on the sevens circuit in Europe and came up really well against them.
“Girls like Sarah Halverson were solid right throughout the weekend. She had extra responsibility and played a number of roles for us but she just got in and got the job done.
“That’s what we were looking from the next wave of girls coming through our system and they showed that at the weekend in Brisbane – it was great to see.”
Nita Maynard was another to stand out with her playmaking and leadership shining through on both days of the well-run tournament.
New face Kennedy Cherington, who has relocated from WA to further her sporting ambitions, was another two bring a lot to the group with her experience and calmness on and off the field a major asset.
Others who did well were Montana Walters, Hannah Southwell and the veteran Selena Tranter.
McMahon will take many of the Rays group back to Brisbane this coming weekend to play in the Brisbane Tens with the NSW Waratahs.
DAY ONE: v Spain L 26-0
v QAS II W 36-0
DAY TWO: v Sweden W 36-14
v Wales W 17-14