On Tuesday morning, Australia’s women’s rugby team beat New Zealand 24-17 to win the first ever Olympic gold medal in the sport.
For many, it might have been the first game of women’s rugby they ever watched. Perhaps the first game they’d taken seriously. And it was impossible not to – the sheer skill of the women was simply undeniable.
They were fast and strong and fearless.
The game was tense and exciting, with no sign from either team of backing down.
It was one of those moments of glory Australia looks forward to at the Olympics.
But if you take a deeper look into the rugby sevens squad, the win (and the talent on the field) was even more remarkable than it first appeared.
For starters, at the time of the most recent (2012) Olympics, the women’s sevens team didn’t exist. Most of the women didn’t even have a background in rugby.
Ellia Green, who scored the third try of the final, was originally planning on running the 100m at the Olympics. But coach Tim Walsh recruited her for the rugby team, and the rest, as they say, is history. Post continues after gallery.