Wagga's Alicia Quirk and Batlow's Sharni Williams win silver medals at Commonwealth Games

HEADS HELD HIGH: The Australian women's rugby sevens team on the podium on Sunday. Picture: AAP
HEADS HELD HIGH: The Australian women's rugby sevens team on the podium on Sunday. Picture: AAP

Riverina athletes Alicia Quirk and Sharni Williams have won silver medals at the Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast.

It was heartbreak for the Australian women's rugby sevens team as they went down to New Zealand 17-12 in extra time of the gold medal match at Robina Stadium.

With the siren sounded to end the first half of extra-time, New Zealand kept the ball alive and Kelly Brazier produced a brilliant solo effort to run 70 metres and score.

It brought many of the Australian team to tears after they had fought back from 12-0 down to force the game into extra-time.

Australian coach Tim Walsh said it was impossible not to feel disappointed after going so close to a gold medal.

“We hate losing so we’re pretty disappointed. Everyone’s faces, we’re devastated and probably going ‘what if, what if’,” Walsh said.

“Just little things, not getting there, throwing the pass that shouldn’t. Mistakes do happen.

“But to be honest it was a top game for people to watch.”

It was a difficult day for Williams, especially, as she watched on from the sidelines.

The Batlow product injured her ankle early in the tournament and played no part in the semi-final win over Canada on Sunday morning, or the final.

Williams, the co-captain, hobbled onto the field on crutches to comfort her teammates after the Kiwis scored the winning try.

Quirk was one of Australia’s best throughout the three-day tournament and she appeared to give everything she had in the final, making a number of tackles in desperation.

The Aussies were on the back foot from the start, down 12-0 at half-time, then lost star Charlotte Caslick to injury.

But the home team lifted and levelled in the dying minutes, only to miss a conversion late that would have sealed gold.

The silver medal adds to Quirk and Williams’ Olympic gold they won in Rio two years ago.

Australia defeated New Zealand on that occasion in the gold medal match, but the result was reversed this time around.