UTAS Lions close to upset wins at National University Sevens Series

EARLY DAYS: Lauryn Cooper, who debuted for Launceston Queen Bees last year, scored her maiden try for UTAS Lions on Saturday.

EARLY DAYS: Lauryn Cooper, who debuted for Launceston Queen Bees last year, scored her maiden try for UTAS Lions on Saturday.

UTAS Lions have spent much of Saturday frustrated on the cusp of urgent wins.

The Tasmanians twice came close of pulling off upsets against more-fancied opponents at the third round of the National University Sevens Series in Brisbane.

American Kiki Morgan scored in the second minute to first give UTAS a 5-0 lead over Macquarie University.

The Lions then nearly kept a clean sheet in the first half until Macquarie crossed the line to equaliseon the siren.

The Sydneysiders scored on two more occasions after the break to win 17-5.

Olivia White would next returned fire against the two-time series winners University of Queensland to put UTAS 7-5 in front at half-time.

But again the visitors’ stoic defence couldn’t hold on, the Queenslanders hitting back twice late in the game to secure a 17-7 victory.

UTAS left its worse effort for its last pool match against University of Adelaide.

Conceding five unanswered tries – including four in under six minutes – would seal the Tasmanians’ fate.

But Launceston rookie Lauryn Cooper restored the Lions’ pride late, scoring her first five-pointer of the series in the 25-5 defeat.

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