Nelson Bay’s Maya Stewart has guided University of New England to their best finish of the 2018 Uni 7s series with thirteen tries, and four hat-tricks, in six games on the Gold Coast confirming the team’s fifth place victory over University of Adelaide.
The club started their Gold Coast sevens campaign with a defeat, falling to the Macquarie Rays 38-7, before Stewart kicked into high gear and claimed her first three-try haul against the University of Adelaide in a 36-10 win.
UNE rounded out their first day results with a 33-7 win over the University of Melbourne, and Stewart collected her second of the four eventual hat-tricks at the tournament, setting the squad in good stead for their final pool stage win, 24-17 over University of Queensland the following day.
After the three victories on the trot, UNE came into the elimination rounds firing on all cylinders, dominating University of Tasmania in the minor semi-final to keep them tryless until time had already all but run out.
The win put UNE into the fifth place play-off against University of Adelaide, who they had scalped earlier in the tournament, and Nelson Bay’s Stewart completed her scintillating tournament with a final hat-trick as the team charged to a 35-17 triumph.
Stewart’s rampaging form throughout the Gold Coast tournament also earned her a place in the Round 4 Dream Team alongside club-mate Rhiannon Byers.
The series finale will be held in Adelaide in two weeks.