Australia through to Vancouver Sevens Quarter-Finals

Sunday March 12, 2017

The Australian Men’s Sevens are through to the Quarter Finals in Vancouver after two impressive wins against Japan and France before going down to USA in their final Pool C clash.

Young gun Liam McNamara notched a hat-trick of tries against Japan while Lachie Anderson’s star continues to rise after some dominant performances in the gold jersey.

Australia will play Fiji in a Cup Quarter-Final tomorrow, Monday March 13 at 6:14am (AEDT).

Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend said: “The disappointing thing of today was that we let every team score first so we need to have a look at the way we’re starting. We just couldn’t get our way into the game against USA, we said possession is everything and we turned it over so before we knew it we were out of the game at 24-nil.”

“Liam (McNamara) is a real talent and I thought he did amazingly well off the bench. Again the young blokes are the ones leading the way for us. I’m pleased for those young fellas but just really disappointed with how we finished the day against USA.

“They (Fiji) are definitely beatable, we know that. We challenged them in Vegas last week and ran them close but let in a couple of easy tries. We will definitely have to lift our performance based on that last game against USA though.

“It’s a mentally tough tournament, week two on an artificial surface. The team that turns up mentally prepared to put their body on the line tomorrow will win this one,” Friend said.

Australia 12 defeated France 7
France were the first to score in Vancouver despite a strong start from Australia. Alexandre Lagarde showing his step and speed to dot down between the posts and give France an early 7-nil lead. Nick Malouf hit straight back though for Australia as he burst 60 metres down the right edge to score in the corner. An amazing sideline conversion from James Stannard brought Australia level at the break.

France slowed down the game in the second half as they played for field position, repeatedly kicking the ball away and inviting an onslaught of Australian attack. France were then reduced to six men after a dangerous tackle and Australia took full advantage.

Ed Jenkins showing his class with an acrobatic dive to score in the corner and give Australia a 12-7 lead. It was a nervy final few moments for Australia as Liam McNamara’s kick didn’t find touch but France couldn’t go 80 metres to score.

Australia 36 defeated Japan 7
Japan raced out of the blocks early in the first half but Australia settled and tournament captain Tom Lucas raced down the left edge to level the score.

Australia were quick to break the deadlock in the second half though, as Brandon Quinn sprinted away to hand off to Henry Hutchison who barged his way over to score. Liam McNamara came off the bench and scored within a minute as he showed quick feet to slide off a few would-be tacklers.

McNamara had a double soon after thanks to some fierce work from Lachie Anderson at the breakdown, which allowed McNamara to step down the blindside unopposed. His hat-trick came after full-time though, wrestling with Japan’s defence only to break free and dive for the line to score.

Australia 5 defeated by USA 29
USA got off to a flyer in the last Pool clash with Perry Baker putting on the afterburners down the left side to score untouched. He had his second not long after as he scooped up a grubber kick behind to score. Danny Barrett wrapped up the half for USA as he bumped off two attempted tackles to make it 17-nil at the break.

It was the worst possible start to the second half for Australia as Maka Unufe was at his athletic best, snaffling the kickoff and racing away for a try. He had a double a minute later as he barged through Australia’s defence to slam it down over the try line. Australia eventually worked their way into the game, as Lachie Anderson capitalised on the full-time siren to give the men in gold their only score.

News Source: ARU Media