RHIANNON Byers and her Australian women's sevens side have missed the chance to break their World Series drought, falling to the United States 26-7 in the final of the Glendale Sevens in Colorado.
Looking to hoist their first Cup trophy since taking out their home event in Sydney more than 18 months ago, the Aussies, featuring Byers who is the granddaughter of Nowra's Ian and Shirley Usher, were unable to match the home side, falling behind 12-7 at half-time after conceding a try after the buzzer and conceding another two tries in the second half as the US swarmed to win their home title.
Despite the loss, the return to the Cup final is a strong start to the Aussies' Olympic gold medal defence in Tokyo next year and comes after earlier shut outs of Russia and France in the knockout stages.
Apart from a minor glitch in their final pool game against Canada, in which they allowed a try after the full-time siren to finish with a draw, the Australians dominated in Colorado until the final, leading many statistical categories over the two days.
Australia was flawless through the early knockouts on Monday morning, beating Russia 38-nil in the quarter-final before dismantling France 40-nil in their semi-final.
In the bronze medal playoff, New Zealand beat France 31-14 to claim third place.