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The University of Queensland still hopes to defend its Aon Uni 7s Series title in this weekend’s final round at The University of Adelaide (20-21 October).

UQ aiming to enjoy final Uni 7s round (768 x 510)
UQ's Marioulla Belessis (Picture: Rugby Australia/Sportography)

UQ is guaranteed to finish 2018 with a series medal, but must win in Adelaide and hope for other results to go its way to have a chance of securing back-to-back Uni 7s titles.

UQ dropped to third place in the standings (68 points) after finishing a disappointing fourth in Round 4 on the Gold Coast, losing the bronze medal match to Macquarie University (24-nil).

Macquarie sits in second (70) with Griffith University (74) on top of the ladder after winning its second round of the series at Bond University.

UQ coach Reg Tayler said his side is focused on playing positive rugby.

“The big thing for this week is playing the footy the girls can play and getting back to what we can do – not looking at the results or the overall table,” Tayler said.

“We’ve had some good performances and some weaker performances, so we’ve just got to get back to being consistent and playing the best football we can.”

Tayler has made a surprise selection for Adelaide, naming UQ Rugby Club stalwart Lori Cramer in UQ’s 13-player squad after her return from a stint playing club rugby in Japan.

Tayler said a growing injury list of had paved the way for Cramer’s inclusion.

“This will be her first Uni 7s outing, although she has played both sevens and 15-a-side rugby for UQ over many years,” he said.

“She’s well known around the UQ Rugby scene and is a long-time servant of the club and the University.”

UQ Sporting Scholarship recipient Marioulla Belessis – a student in the final weeks of completing her Bachelor of Education degree – said the team is keen to rebound following its disappointment at Bond University.

“We want to finish with a good tournament,” she said.

“We enjoy ourselves when we’re playing good rugby, so that’s the main thing we’re taking into this weekend.”

Reflecting on the second season of Uni 7s, Tayler said the standard of play had greatly improved.

“The other teams are stronger and it is more competitive,” he said.

“We’ve given ourselves the opportunity to win, but we just haven’t been able to pull it off.

“At the end of the day, hopefully we can do that in this tournament and come away with a positive result.”

UQ will play pool games against University Canberra (11:50am), University of New England (1:30pm) and Griffith University (3:50pm) on Saturday, and Bond University (8:30am) on Sunday.

Finals will be held from 10:30am on Sunday.

All matches will be streamed live via rugby.com.au, and UniSport Australia’s Facebook page.

The University of Queensland – Aon Uni7s Series team (Round 5):

Marioulla Belessis (vice-captain) (Bachelor of Education – Primary)

Shenae Ciesiolka

Lori Cramer

Terri-Anne Egan

Georgia Hannaway

Samantha Hopkin

Jannicke lJdens (captain)

Grace Kaihau

Pleuni Kievit

Hagiga (Haj) Mosby

Mackenzie Sadler (vice-captain)

Bodil Van Wijnbergen

Katie Muscat – 13th player (Bachelor of Physiotherapy – Honours)

Series Standings

1) Griffith University (74 points)

2) Macquarie University (70)

3) The University of Queensland (68)

4) The University of Sydney (50)

5) University of Canberra (40)

6) University of New England (36)

7) University of Tasmania (32)

8) The University of Adelaide (32)

9) Bond University (30)

10) The University of Melbourne (8)

Media: Jamie Mitchell, UQ Sport, JamieM@uqsport.com.au0423 785 752; Reg Tayler, UQ Rugby Football Club, regtayler@uqrugbyclub.com, 0407 302 911.

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