UQ took a bronze medal at Round 2 in Canberra, following a convincing 29-5 win over Bond University.
The third placing saw Team UQ relinquish its series lead to eventual round winners Macquarie University, who defeated UQ 26-19 in the semi-finals.
Coach Reg Tayler said his squad is learning from its mistakes.
“We’ve had a couple of off-moments in the last two tournaments and they’ve resulted in losses,’ Tayler said.
“But the follow-up game is normally a very strong performance, so there are always learnings from losses.”
“I was really impressed with how we bounced back in the third-place playoff and how we dominated it.”
Tayler has been forced to make several changes to the squad for UQ’s home event.
Captain Jannicke lJdens, Sarafina Vosuqa and Haj Mosby have been sidelined with injury.
Katie Muscat has been named in a 13-player squad, while Gemma Hauck and Shenae Ciesiolka return after the pair were late withdrawals in Canberra.
Erica Fowler – one of four UQ students – has also been recalled after missing the second leg of the series.
The Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences (Honours) student said the team would need to lift its game to claim a second-consecutive home tournament win.
“The competition has improved with the depth and the talent – there are some very strong squads,” Fowler said.
“The feedback from Canberra was about being accountable for our mistakes, but also making sure our focus is on our defence because that’s one of our strongest points.
“I’ve been involved in UQ Rugby for a few years now, so to be able to represent my University on home soil in such a high-level tournament always means a lot.”
UQ will play pool games against The University of Melbourne (9:40am), University of New England (11:40am), University of Tasmania (2pm), and Griffith University (4pm) on Saturday.
Tayler said his team was looking forward to playing on home soil.
“A lot of these girls are UQ students and they’re going to have some support whether it’s through the colleges or their parents,” he said.
“Everyone is really excited.
“We won last year at UQ and we want to make sure we win again and put on a good performance.”
Highlights of the event will also be broadcast on Fox Sports in late 2018.
The opening round of the inaugural Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens competition will also take place on Saturday (Fields 7 & 6), as well as the annual Emanuel 7s (Field 8) tournament – featuring men’s and women’s teams from UQ Colleges.
The University of Queensland – Aon Uni7s Series team (Round 3):
Marioulla Belessis (co-captain) (Bachelor of Education – Primary)
Erica Fowler (Bachelor of Exercise and Sport Sciences – Honours)
Katie Muscat (Bachelor of Physiotherapy – Honours)
Mackenzie Sadler (co-captain)
Bodil Van Wijnbergen
Meg Gemmell (13th player) (Bachelor of Engineering – Honours)
2018 Aon Uni 7s Series – Round 2 Results
1) Macquarie University (38 points)
2) The University of Queensland (36)
3) Griffith University (34)
4) University of Canberra (24)
5) Bond University (20)
6) University of Tasmania (18)
7) The University of Sydney (18)
8) University of New England (14)
9) The University of Adelaide (14)
10) The University of Melbourne (4)
Round 3 – The University of Queensland, UQ Sport Athletics Centre (September 22-23)
Round 4 – Bond University, Gold Coast (October 6-7)
Round 5 – The University of Adelaide, Adelaide (October 20-21)