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Arc de Try-omphe: clean sweep of Europe

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The Bull Sharks women’s rugby side have conquered Europe with a victory over French club Bourg en Bresse to complete a clean sweep of their tour matches. 

And the men’s side that took out the Queensland Premier Rugby minor premiership also got in on the action with a hard fought 10-7 victory. 

The men dominated territory and possession against Bourg en Bresse’s academy team to secure their first win of the tour. 

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“Finishing off a great Rugby World Cup tour with a win is something these players will remember forever,” coach Grant Anderson said.

“The experiences and memories will be talked about all through the club for years to come.’’ 

Then it was party time as the women hit the pitch. 

Following on from three commanding victories in their 7s series against the highly regarded Loughborough University side in the UK last week, the Australian champions put 99 points on their French opponents.

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The women  made a statement in the UK when they romped to 34-5, 30-0 and 15-5 victories against Loughborough, who have the professional Lightning franchise and a host of international stars. With 7s not a priority for the women’s game in France, the final tour match was always expected to be a more casual affair. 

But the Bond side was desperate to finish the tour on a high to maintain their momentum and there was no talk of taking things easy.

Winning has become a habit for coach Lawrence Faifua and his side.

In the past 18 months they have claimed back-to-back Queensland Premier Rugby premierships and the inaugural Australian Club Championship with victory over Sydney premiers Gordon.

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Their success in the 7s format has been just as impressive as they claimed the National University championship and the Queensland State title. 

However, there will be little time for celebration and no rest for the weary.

Faifua will put the women directly into a short but intense conditioning phase on the club’s return to Australia at the weekend in preparation for their 7s title defence. 

“We’ve had a great tour, we have played some good rugby and just as importantly we have used this time to really work on our culture and strengthen the bonds within the group,” he said.

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“The quality of football we have produced has been really pleasing but I think in the long run we may also see benefits from other areas of the tour.

“I have loved seeing the way the girls have looked after each other. Many have never been overseas before and the care they have shown for each other has been really impressive.

“Now we will get home and get stuck into some work and try to build on what we have created these past couple of years.’’

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