Stanford shines at Youth Olympics

Tayla Stanford receiving her playing jersey from Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox (kayaking) and Chef de Mission, Susie O’Neill. Photo credit: Olympics.com.au

Tayla Stanford receiving her playing jersey from Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox (kayaking) and Chef de Mission, Susie O’Neill. Photo credit: Olympics.com.au

COOMA rugby star Tayla Stanford scored two tries in a dominant performance as her Australian Youth Olympics Rugby Sevens team registered their third consecutive victory in Nanjing, China.

A 38-0 hammering of the United States of America (USA) has the Australian women sitting atop of the Rugby Sevens pool, and favourites to claim the gold medal at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympics.

18-year-old Stanford scored in each half of Australia's drubbing of the USA, with her opening try coming courtesy of a strong effort close to the line, where she steam rolled the defence.

Tayla Stanford and her Australian Women's Rugby Sevens teammates alongside  Jessica Fox and Chef de Mission, Susie O’Neill. Photo credit: Olympics.com.au.

Tayla Stanford and her Australian Women's Rugby Sevens teammates alongside Jessica Fox and Chef de Mission, Susie O’Neill. Photo credit: Olympics.com.au.

The Australians took a 21-0 lead into the half-time break and started the final period in blistering fashion, scoring in less than a minute.

A short time later the Australians forced a turnover and promptly spread the ball where it came to the Cooma sensation.

Stanford was in the clear, 30 metres out, and stormed for the try line, crossing untouched.

As well as scoring a double, she produced a spectacular offload which led to the opening try of the second stanza.

Stanford warming up. Photo credit: Olympics.com.au.

Stanford warming up. Photo credit: Olympics.com.au.

With the number five on her back, the Cooma product looked every bit at ease on the international stage, effecting a number of crunching tackles as she left her mark of the USA side.

Stanford also tasted success in the opening two matches when the Australians accounted for Tunisia 31-0 and China 15-12.

It took a last minute try for the Australians to overcome China, a feat all the more impressive as a jubilant home crowd cheered the Chinese women on.

Stanford will be in action at midday today, Tuesday August 19, in the final pool game against Canada.

A win should ensure a semi finals berth and the opportunity to take home gold.

The local star was part of Rugby Sevens history when the Australians beat Tunisia in the opening game of the Youth Olympics, becoming the first side to win a sevens match under the Olympic banner.

Medal playoffs will take place from 11am on Wednesday, August 20, Australian Eastern Standard Time.

With her sights on gold at the 2014 Youth Olympics, Stanford has one eye on the Rio Olympics and if recent form is anything to go by, locals might be cheering on another Olympian.

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