Aussie Sevens sixth in final event of World Series season
22 May 2017
RUGBY SEVENS: Australia has been defeated by South Africa 17-28 in the 5th Place Playoff at the London Sevens tournament where Scotland successfully defended its 2016 title.
The Cup final was a battle of the Kingdom dwellers and while the crowd were screaming for an English win, there is no doubt the Scots had won many supporters with their push to the finish line.
The match for fifth place honours saw tries exchanged through the first half as Siviwe Soyizwape and Cecil Afrika scored for the Blitzboks while John Porch and Simon Kennewell kept Australia in close touch.
South Africa lead by just two points at the break, 14-12.
Afrika took advantage of the smallest gap in defence and headed for the line early in the second half.
An Alex Gibbon try in the final minutes made it a battle to the end as the Aussies applied pressure with time running out.
But when Rosko Specman collected the bouncing ball off a kick pass on the run, and ran it to the try line, the game was all but done.
The sixth place finish in the final tournament of the series sees Australia holding its position also in sixth place in the overall Series Standings.
While it was not the result the Aussies were hoping for coming into this final tournament, the form showed was a vast improvement on Paris.
The positives for Coach Andy Friend ahead of a very busy 2018 are that the young squad has now been immersed in valuable match experience at the elite level and been impressive in its development.
However, the standout player in London was in fact the veteran of the team 33 year old James Stannard who scored with tries as well as with the boot.