The Australian women’s sevens rugby team have won the world series opening round in Dubai, beating Russia 31-12 in the Cup final.
The Aussies beat New Zealand 15-12 in the quarter-finals and France 26-0 in the semis on Friday local time before going on to crush Russia in the grand final.
Head coach Tim Walsh said the entire women’s program deserved the win after training particularly hard over the past three months.
“It was our day today but it was by no means a fluke,” he said.
“We showed composure and an ability to solve problems on our feet.”
Walsh said the win over reigning world series champions New Zealand set the tournament up for Australia.
“It’s always unbelievable to beat them.
“I say that out of respect as, in my eyes, New Zealand is the pinnacle of Rugby Union.”
In the grand final surprise packets Russia, who defeated the Kiwis 33-7 in pool play, were organised early on.
But New Zealand-born Amy Turner eventually made the pressure tell when she scored on the right, before a brilliant offload from Ellia Green released Nicole Beck to cross over.
Russia with two quick tries threatened a boilover but their joy was short-lived as Ellia Green sprinted 50 metres on the left to score.
Further tries to Emilee Cherry and Evania Pelite put the exclamation mark on a convincing display.
Australia were forced to play the Cup final with only 10 players available with forwards Sharni Williams (knee) and Chloe Dalton (arm) ruled out.
Both will undergo further assessment next week when back in Sydney.
England claimed third spot in Dubai after beating France 10-5 in sudden death extra-time.
The second leg of the world series will be held in Brazil in mid-February.