The University of Queensland will head into Round 2 of the Aon Uni 7s Series in Canberra this weekend (8-9 September) with a determination to build on its tournament winning streak.
UQ claimed a fifth-consecutive Uni 7s round win – dating back to 2017 – after beating Macquarie University in the season-opening event a fortnight ago in Tasmania.
Team UQ coach Reg Tayler has made two changes for the Canberra leg of the series, with Terri-Anne Egan replacing the injured Shenae Ciesiolka in an extended 13-player squad.
Rugby newcomer Gemma Hauck has also been named in the team after impressing UQ’s coaching staff in her short time with both the development and main training squads.
Tayler said Hauck earned her call-up through impressive training performances.
“Gemma’s been training quite closely with us.
“She’s played a little bit of rugby but not a lot of rugby, hence why we put her in the development squad first,” Tayler said.
“We’ve been playing games at training on a Monday night and she has just played really well and put her name up for selection.”
Tayler said he expects a physical contest in Canberra and is confident Hauck will play a key role for UQ.
“Gemma is quite a physical player with a lot of aggression and we think we need that player for this tournament.”
“As long as we prepare properly and get ourselves mentally right for the next one – we’re under no illusions that it’s going to be easy, we know it’s going to be hard, so we’re ready for that.”
UQ suffered its first Uni 7s defeat in Tasmania, losing to Macquarie 21-7 in the pool stages.
Vice-captain Mackenzie Sadler said the team had responded positively to the result.
“We got a loss out of the way and actually dealt with it well.
“We built on the things we needed to improve on and came out stronger having had the loss,” Sadler said.
“There is an expectation on us to play at a high standard and be competitive, but the team and the coaching staff have been really great at not putting pressure on ourselves.”
Sadler said the squad is prepared for fierce competition from a number of sides in Canberra.
“Macquarie is going to be strong.
“I was really impressed with Adelaide’s game, and we haven’t played Sydney Uni yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing what they have to offer.”
UQ will play pool matches against University of New England (9:20am), The University of Sydney (1:20pm) and hosts University of Canberra (3pm) on Saturday, and Bond University (9am) on Sunday.
Knockout games will take place from 11am on Sunday.
The University of Queensland – Aon Uni7s Series team (Round 2):
- Marioulla Belessis (vc) (Bachelor of Education – Primary)
- Shenae Ciesiolka
- Gemma Hauck
- Georgia Hannaway
- Samantha Hopkins
- Jannicke lJdens (c)
- Grace Kaihau
- Pleuni Kievit
- Hagiga (Haj) Mosby
- Mackenzie Sadler (vc)
- Bodil Van Wijnbergen
- Sarafina Vosuqa
- Terri-Anne Egan (13th)
- The University of Queensland (20 points)
- Macquarie University (18)
- Griffith University (16)
- The University of Sydney (14)
- University of Canberra (12)
- University of Tasmania (10)
- The University of Adelaide (8)
- Bond University (6)
- University of New England (4)
- The University of Melbourne (2)
Round 2 – University of Canberra, Canberra (September 8-9)
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)