Aussie Sevens finish fourth in Singapore
17 April 2017
RUGBY SEVENS: The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team has finished the Singapore 7s in fourth place after falling to England in the Third Place Play Off 12-14.
Australia defeated Sevens World Series leaders, South Africa in the Quarter Finals with a stunning come from behind 19-17 victory. Progressing to the top four, a quick American outfit accounted for Australia 7-40 before the men in gold fell in a tight battle against England 12-14.
The injury ravaged Aussie 7s were without veterans Ed Jenkins and James Stannard who were unable to play after injuries suffered on day one of the tournament.
It was left to the next generation of Aussie 7s talent to stand up with Tom Lucas, John Porch, Henry Hutchison, Charlie Taylor and Lachie Anderson all making an impact throughout the day.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Andy Friend said: “I thought we played some really good Rugby throughout the tournament. The win over South Africa showed a lot of character and a lot of belief.
“The last game against England we fought really hard but we just couldn’t finish it in the end. As a young squad they are doing some good things and I am proud of them.
“We said after Vancouver we have been guilty of missing our opportunities of beating top four teams. We have now beaten England and South Africa and making a Final is our next challenge.
“We had 10 boys who fronted up for the last game with the injuries we endured. It’s been a very tough two weeks, in a very gruelling season and it put an onus on the young bodies. It was a real cauldron of fire for those young guys.”
Australia currently sit in sixth position on the HSBC Sevens World Series Ladder on 94 points behind the USA on 101 points.
Australia will next play at the Paris 7s on May 11-13 where they will battle it out in Pool D alongside Fiji, Samoa and Russia.
Australia 19 defeated South Africa 17
An injury ravaged Australia were hit hard by the HSBC Sevens World Series leaders, South Africa early in their Quarter Final clash with the Blitzboks scoring two quick tries to take an early 0-10 lead. Australia scrapped to fight their way into the match and a great run by Tim Anstee set up Simon Kennewell for the Aussie 7s first try. Tom Lucas converted the opportunity to narrow the gap to 7-10 at the break.
South Africa were the first to strike in the second half, extending their lead to 7-17 as they starved the Aussie 7s of possession. The spirit of this rejuvenated Australian side fought hard against the South Africans with Captain Tom Lucas standing up with a 45-metre run for a try to bring the scoreboard to within striking range to 12-17. With momentum swinging towards the men in gold, South Africa infringed at the breakdown and were reduced to 6 men. Sensing opportunity, the Aussie 7s attacked the line, allowing Liam McNamarra to create enough space for Lachie Anderson to slice through the defence and score underneath the posts. With the scores locked at 17-17, Tom Lucas calmly slotted the conversion to secure the victory and ensure Australia’s progression to the Semi Finals.
Australia 7 were defeated by the USA 40
Australia started strongly against United States and it was John Porch who scored the first points, kicking the ball through the defence to regather and score underneath the posts to take a 7-0 lead. The USA played to their strengths though and sent the ball to a flying Perry Baker who out ran the covering defence to level the scores at 7-7. The USA continued to hammer the Australian defensive line and were able to extend their lead to 7-14 on the cusp of half time. With the Aussie 7s missing the experience of Ed Jenkins and James Stannard through injury the pressure started to take hold with the Americans jumping out to a 7-21 lead at the break.
With Australia’s injury toll continuing to rise, the Aussie 7s fought hard against the USA but were unable to match them for pace out wide. The USA extended their lead with two quick tries to take a solid 7-33 lead as they ran away with the match. A final try by American winger, Perry Baker wrapped up a 7-40 victory.
Australia 12 were defeated by England 14
England dominated the opening stages of the match as they controlled possession and territory. The Aussie 7s defended well but eventually the time spent in the red zone paid dividends for England as they opened a 0-7 lead. Charlie Taylor led an Australian revival by opening up space out wide that allowed Liam McNamara to score underneath the posts to lock the scores at 7-7. Just before the break, Australia pounced on a mistake by England and were able to score in the corner with Henry Hutchison diving over to take a lead 12-7.
England were the first to strike in the second half as they wrestled back a 12-14 advantage with a try underneath the posts. Both sides traded blows for the rest of the half as the Aussie 7s strived to find a way through to earn an elusive third place. A late charge by Australia fell short and allowed England to clear their lines to win the game 12-14.
Sevens World Series, Singapore, Day Two:
Australia 19-17 South Africa (Quarter Final)
Australia 7-40 USA (Semi Final)
Australia 12-14 England (Third Place Play Off)