Australia slip to seventh in Vancouver

Monday March 13, 2017

The Australian Men’s Sevens side have fallen to New Zealand in the Fifth Place Semi-Final of the Canada Sevens in Vancouver.

Australia’s James Stannard was unable to stop Fijian flyer Masivesi Dakuwaqa on day two of the Vancouver Sevens.
Photo courtesy of Martin Seras Lima/World Rugby

Earlier in the day, Australia was defeated by Fiji in the Cup Quarter-Final, who put on a masterclass of Sevens Rugby to take the match 28-10.

Australia take 10 points for finishing in seventh in Vancouver, leaving the side in sixth position on the World Series Standings.

The Aussie 7s will return home to begin their preparation for the infamous Hong Kong Sevens, which kicks off on April 7th.

Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Andy Friend said: “Both games today were similar in that we created opportunities but in those key moments of execution we weren’t able to finish it off.

“It’s very frustrating that this is where we are at as a team at the moment, so we just need to keep working hard and make sure we get better than that.

“We would have liked to have gone better here in Canada, to give us the confidence going into Hong Kong.

“After a good showing in Sydney and a better showing in Vegas, I was hoping we’d go better this weekend so it is disappointing,” Friend said.

Liam McNamara was one of the standouts for the young Australian side, scoring three tries across the weekend to be Australia’s top points scorer.

Australia 10 were defeated by Fiji 28
The match started at a frenetic pace but the Australians played with patience to score the first points thanks to a powerful lunge at the line by Nick Malouf. Fiji regathered momentum and were able to expose the Aussie 7s out wide, with Jerry Tuwai showing his extreme pace to burn the cover defence and give Fiji a 5-7 lead. A late try to Fiji on the cusp of half-time extended their lead to 5-14 at the break.

The second half started with some frustration for the Aussie 7s, with a basic handling error allowing Fiji to score their third try of the match and a take a 5-21 lead. Fiji’s fourth try removed any doubt of an Australian comeback, with the flying Fijians displaying some amazing skills to take a commanding 5-28 lead. Brandon Quinn combined with Tim Anstee to give Australia a consolation try though, to take the score to 10-28 at full-time.

Australia 0 were defeated by New Zealand 21
The Trans-Tasman affair saw both sides ask questions of each other’s defence, with Australia moving the ball from side to side as they tried to expose the All Black 7s out wide. A strong run from Simon Kennewell was a shining moment in the first half but it was New Zealand who registered the first points through Scott Curry, taking a 0-7 lead.

Despite an aggressive start to the second half by Australia, it was New Zealand who was able to strike first, scoring to extend their lead 0-14. A defensive error by the Aussie 7s proved costly as New Zealand was able to score a third try and ensure that there would be no Australian revival in the Fifth Place Semi-Final. New Zealand rode out the match leaving the Aussie 7s to finish in seventh place.

News Source: ARU Media