After setting the seal on a second successive triumph in the desert in as many weeks, Australia’s women’s side stayed on to try to inspire their men’s colleagues to do similar.
Having just clinched a 15-5 final in the penultimate match of the Emirates Dubai Sevens weekend, they lined up directly opposite their compatriots on the touchline of Pitch 1.
Both sets of players bellowed out Advance Australia Fair, in a powerful show of unity.
Despite their efforts, their male colleagues fell just short, as they were beaten in their own final by South Africa.
Matching the feats of the women’s side was always going to be a stretch.
Australia won Women’s World Series titles on successive weekends in Dubai, including the behind-closed-doors event a week earlier. In the process, they went unbeaten.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” Demi Hayes, Australia’s captain, said. “That is exactly how we wanted to start the series, and considering it is the first double-double, back-to-back tournaments in Dubai, we are so stoked.
“We kept to our structure, we knew exactly how we wanted to play – which was with width and making them run lots. We tried to keep to that, but [Fiji] are always such a great opposition.”
Faith Nathan was named player of the match in the final. It is a marker of the exacting standards demanded by Australia’s sevens side that she professed herself to be unsatisfied by her personal display.
“I thought I could have done better, but we are going home with the win and that’s all that matters,” said Nathan, who scored the opening try of the final, before Madison Ashby scored the two which sealed the win.
“It is unreal to go back to back, I don’t think we have ever done that. But big up to Fiji, who [really] gave it to us, which was good.”