Australian Men’s Sevens team seal Rio 2016 berth

Sunday November 15, 2015

The Australian Men’s Sevens team has become the tenth team to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

The Australians defeated Tonga 50-0 in a one-sided Cup Final at the Oceania Rugby Olympic Qualification tournament at The Trusts Arena in Auckland this afternoon.

The green and gold stunned Tonga – who earlier had shocked a much-fancied Samoan side in the Semi-Finals – as they dominated the decider from start to finish.

Pama Fou was in a fearsome mood as he registered the opening two scores of the game to ease any nerves in the Australian camp, before Jesse Parahi added a third after eight minutes.

Skipper Ed Jenkins then gave Australia a virtually unassailable 31-point lead at the break as he crossed over twice in a minute on the left hand wing.

Cameron Clark and Henry Hutchison added further tries after the interval before birthday-boy Allan Fa’alava’au fittingly put the icing on the cake to complete a convincing win.

Australian Men’s Sevens interim Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “We’re very pleased. The boys put in a ruthless performance in that last game and it was just desserts for the effort they have put in – not only in the last three months with me, but for the last three of four years too.

“This is a great way to start a new chapter, a new stage in what will be a massive year with the Olympics at the end of it. It’s a weight off everyone’s shoulders [qualifying for Rio] – if you look at it in a positive way, then these players will be battle-hardened and more able to handle those pressure situations.”

Australian captain Ed Jenkins said: “We’re all delighted that we’ve qualified Australia for the Olympics. It’s a testament to the boys character that we performed as well as we did this weekend. We delivered when it mattered most and I’m very proud.

“Full credit goes to Tim [Walsh] who agreed to coach us in the wake of Geraint John’s departure. We’re all proud of what we’ve done in what was a tough qualifier.”

Earlier in the day, Australia defeated American Samoa (52-0) in the Quarter-Finals and Papua New Guinea in the Semi-Finals (36-0).

Australia will now have two teams at Rugby Sevens’ debut at the Olympics, the Men joining the national Women’s side in Rio who themselves secured qualification in May.

Runners-up Tonga and third-placed Samoa will now proceed to a final qualifying repecharge in the middle of next year for the 12th and final spot at Rio 2016.

Australian Men’s Sevens results in Auckland, New Zealand, 14-15 November:
Australia 62-0 Nauru, Pool A
Australia 48-7 Cook Islands, Pool A
Australia 49-0 Tonga, Pool A
Australia 52-0 American Samoa, Cup Quarter-Final
Australia 36-0 Papua New Guinea, Cup Semi-Final
Australia 50-0 Tonga, Cup Final*

*Australia qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics

News Source: ARU Media