Australia's Sharni Williams fends off Spain's Barbara Pla on day one of the Women's Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco. Picture: Jeff Chiu/AP
Australia's Sharni Williams fends off Spain's Barbara Pla on day one of the Women's Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco. Picture: Jeff Chiu/AP

Aussie women looking great at sevens World Cup

AUSTRALIA'S rugby sevens women's team has sailed into the World Cup semi-finals, performing in dominant fashion on day one in San Francisco.

The Olympic champions didn't allow Spain a sniff in their 34-0 quarter-final win, having earlier disposed of a plucky Papua New Guinea 34-5.

Australia's defensive pressure meant Spain barely put an offensive phase together and Evania Pelite made the most of it with a hat-trick at AT&T Park.

Ellia Green was also at her best, busting two tackles on the way to a devastating first-half try for the reigning World Series champions.

Their dominance was enough to offset co-captain Sharni Williams' wonky day with the boot, both from conversions and restarts.

"Those little one-percenters we could probably fix up," playmaker Charlotte Caslick said.

"There's a couple of missed tackles still, passes above heads and all of that, but come semi-finals time we'll be on and ready."

Australia will play France in Sunday (AEST) morning's final four. A last-gasp try to France was enough to beat Canada 24-19.

World Cup holders New Zealand lurk in the other half of the draw, having already shown why they are favourites and No.1 seeds.

The Kiwis, who beat Australia in extra time to win Commonwealth Games gold in April, opened their tournament with a 57-0 domination of Mexico.

They followed it up with a 45-0 drubbing of Ireland and await the winner of the game between the US and Russia in Sunday's other semi-final.

Australia's men open their tournament against the winner of France and Jamaica - a game they must win if they are to claim the title.

- AAP


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