GOLDEN GIRLS: Emilee Cherry (far right) has thanked Roma for their support during Australia's successful Olympic campaign.
GOLDEN GIRLS: Emilee Cherry (far right) has thanked Roma for their support during Australia's successful Olympic campaign. Alexander Hassenstein

Emilee Cherry thanks Roma for 'amazing' support

ROMA girl Emilee Cherry has thanked Roma for supporting her throughout Australia's successful Rio Olympics campaign.

The Australians took out the gold medal match on Tuesday morning with a 24-17 win against New Zealand, with Cherry doing her part in the final.

She threw the final pass to set-up the Pearls' third try through Ellia Green, and was rock-solid defensively during periods when the Kiwis looked to get back into the match.

She finishes the tournament with three tries, including a double against eventual bronze medallists Canada in the semi-finals.

In post-match interviews, the visibly-jubilant Cherry said she had been overwhelmed by the support shown by friends and family in Roma.

"It's absolutely amazing to have their support," she said.

"All through my career, everyone from Roma, my whole family and everyone in the town have just been so supportive, so to have that extra support - knowing they're waking up early in the morning to watch me is absolutely incredible."

Cherry battled injury to take the field in Brazil, having not trained with the girls since the final round of the Sevens World Series back in May.

But she said nothing was going to stop her helping Australia to a maiden sevens gold medal.

"We've been working towards putting ourselves in their position for about the last four or five years, so to now be Olympic gold medallists is pretty surreal and will definitely sink in over the few days," she said.

"I didn't do the last two team runs and I'd been out with a shoulder injury for the last six weeks so I haven't really trained with the team since our last World Series win in Clermont.

"There was a little bit of doubt there, but the physios did a good job to get me back so once I got on the field I got more confident each game on it."

New Zealand scored the opening try through Kayla Mcalister, but the Pearls responded with four tries on either side of half-time to ensure an Australian victory.

Cherry and her team-mates make history by winning the first ever Rugby Sevens Olympic gold medal.


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