As Australia's women created history by claiming the first Olympic seens gold medal at the Deodoro Stadium, we look at what the players had to say after day three. 


Australia co-captain Shannon Parry was sporting a grin from ear to ear after the thrilling 24-17 victory over New Zealand as she looked back on the journey to Olympic gold.

“When I started the game women’s rugby in Australia wasn’t very big and it was very much a minority sport. To think eight years down the track I’m now an Olympian, I play rugby as a full-time job. I just think how far the game has gone but also I look to the future and think what are the future opportunities that I’ll have?

“We now set our goals for the next four years. This was the end of a journey but it also opens a new chapter. We now go and set out what we want to achieve in the next four-year cycle.”

An emotional New Zealand captain Sarah Goss added: "I’ve dreamed of this moment for a very long time. I’ve always wanted to represent New Zealand at an Olympic Games and to do it at rugby sevens was a goal of mine. Just to be out there playing and advocating women’s rugby is very special to me and I can't wait to see how far it grows going into Tokyo (in 2020)."

Canada captain Jen Kish, who plans to add the Olympic rings to her collection of tattoos, was equally proud to have played her part in rugby history after her side claimed the bronze medal by beating Great Britain.

“For me it’s a dream come true. Our team has been working very hard to get here. You have to have a dream and then a plan and then you need to execute the plan but you have to have the people in place. John (Tait, coach) built rugby in Canada along with others and without them I wouldn’t be here. We’re really grateful to be living our dream and to be inspiring the youth to join sport.”

New Zealand coach Sean Horan admitted it was a pivotal moment for the women's game.

“Part of our vision was not just coming to the Olympics but to inspire the young women of the next generation both in New Zealand and offshore.

“I think we’ve achieved it and if you look at across the board, the progression of the way the game has gone skills-wise, professionally, the viewership – there’s a lot more of a market there. I wouldn’t be surprised by the time we go to Tokyo that it will get even bigger." 


Canada coach John Tait was disappointed with the outcome of their semi-final loss to Australia.

“We really feel like we lost our structure in defence – three line breaks and Australia scored on two of them. They were pretty impresssive to be fair.

“I felt the (Canadian) girls were pretty relaxed and focused going in there, they had their game plan but you have to give Australia a lot of credit – they are the world champions, they made their passes and they took their opportunities. It was a tight game in parts – seven points for them easily could have been seven points for us.”

As she left to prepare for the gold medal match, Australia's double try-scorer Emilee Cherry was obviously happy with the victory.

“I wouldn’t say it was easy, Canada are such a tough opponent, they are very physical and we knew we had to go and match them with that physicality and we did that in the opening two minutes. We really held on to the ball and that set the platform for us.

“I'm absolutely delighted with the tries. Alicia Quirk did the hard work on the inside for the first and Emma Tonegato for the second and I was just there on the end of them.”

There was also disappointment for Great Britain after a 25-7 loss to New Zealand ended their hopes of gold. Two yellow cards within a minute but Team GB on the back foot but Natasha Hunt was quick to admit there were other things that went wrong.

“The sin-binnings made it a lot more difficult but that’s not what lost us the game. We didn’t get our processes quite right and we weren’t ruthless enough with the chances that we had and unfortunately we lost out to a better side."

New Zealand captain Sarah Goss, by contrast, had a big smile on her face. "We’re delighted. We have one big match to go and we have to make sure we recover well to bring it against the Aussies.

“We knew that if we stuck to our systems we were going to dominate it and yes, the girls did well out there. The USA game didn’t go to plan but the way we defended – we kept them to zero and they are a quality side, but our attack maybe didn’t go to plan.

“We want to make this final one to remember.”

Positional matches

France's Camille Grassineau will be remembered as the person who scored the first sevens try in Olympic history, however she was disappointed not to be in the mix for the medals on day three as France finished sixth overall. 

"We are inevitably disappointed because we prepared for so long, as did all the teams. We thought we had our chances, but we have not done all that was necessary."

USA's Kelly Griffin reflected on their Olympic experience after they beat France 19-5 to finish fifth, admitting that "obviously we were disappointed in our first performance of the tournament (against Fiji) and that let us down. But each game we built on and got a little bit better. I think we can be a little bit disappointed overall but at the same time hold our heads high and be proud of the work we did.

"I have no doubt we can be genuine medal contenders in four years time." 

Brazil finished ninth after beating Japan 33-5, a result which secured coach Chris Neill's side a core team place on the HSBC World Rugby Women's Sevens Series in 2016-17. 

“I’ve mixed emotions after that as we were really hoping to make top eight and get to the quarter-finals, but we reassessed and we made this our objective and it was our goal to win this – this was our gold medal," admitted Neill.

"I’m really proud of this as it’s great to qualify officially, as opposed to being helped out by World Rugby. It was probably one of our perfect games, it was fantastic to see in my last match as Brazilian manager.”