Australia won their third Commonwealth Youth Games gold in Tobago today.
“Trinbago 2023” were the third Commonwealth Youth Games to include a rugby sevens tournament, and for the third time Australia took gold, beating Canada in the final – also for the third time.
These Games had been scheduled for 2021, by Covid and then the senior Games in 2022 caused these Games to be postponed to this year.
The selection for the tournament is complex. Team sports at the Games have a limited entry. National games committees cannot enter every sport, and each sport features team from as many different continents as possible.
Five of the teams from 2017 reappeared this year – Australia, Canada, Fiji Trinidad & Tobago and Wales – with the addition of Kenya.
As in previous tournaments Australia were on another level, and this year perhaps more than in previous events. Only Wales held them to a win margin of less than 30 points.
Unfortunately that was a highlight for the 2017 bronze medallists, as defeat to Kenya on day one and Fiji on day two saw Wales miss out on the medal playoffs, finishing fifth.
Instead, the bronze medal match saw Fiji take on Kenya. Fiji – fourth in 2017 - had won the pool game between the two teams comfortably 38-5, but with a podium place on the line the teams were still tied at 10-10 midway through the second half before Fiji finally broke the deadlock with two late tries to win 22-10.
Fiji had come within two points of reaching the final, but a 19-17 loss to Canada on the morning of Day Two was the difference that saw Canada reach their third final. However, Australia put on a masterclass to take a deserved gold medal 50-0.
Pool: Wales 7-21 Canada; Fiji 38-5 Kenya; Trinidad & Tobago 0-71 Australia; Wales 12-20 Kenya; Australia 33-0 Canada; Trinidad & Tobago 0-54 Fiji; Australia 26-7 Wales; Fiji 17-19 Canada; Trinidad & Tobago 0-48 Kenya; Fiji 21-15 Wales; Australia 45-0 Kenya; Trinidad & Tobago 0-59 Canada; Trinidad & Tobago 0-66 Wales; Canada 17-0 Kenya; Australia 43-5 Fiji
5th place: Trinidad & Tobago 0-50 Wales
Bronze final: Fiji 22-10 Kenya
Gold final: Australia 50-0 Canada;