Australia through to the Singapore Sevens Quarter-Finals
The Australian Men’s Sevens team are through to the Quarter-Finals in Singapore after finishing top of Pool C with three straight wins on day one.
Australia will play England in the Cup Quarter-Final at 2:52pm AEST on Sunday April 16, after victories against Samoa, Kenya and Argentina on Saturday.
It wasn’t without casualty though, with skipper Tom Lucas set to be monitored overnight while experienced duo James Stannard (nose) and Ed Jenkins (shoulder) won’t play any part on day two.
Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend said: “I was really, really pleased with the boys today. The first game was all about defence and I thought we defended really, really well.
“In the second game, that was some of the best attacking rugby I’ve seen us play. And that was against a Kenyan side who’s been up for it all week as the defending champions.
“The last game was all about guts and determination. We knew Argentina needed to win and I thought we showed tremendous character, especially with six men. Not only to stop them but also run 90 metres to score.
“James (Stannard) is at the hospital at the moment trying to get his nose sorted, it was a nasty head clash but he will be fine but he’s definitely out of this tournament. Ed (Jenkins) just got caught in a really awkward position and dislocated his shoulder so we’ll definitely lose those two.
“We just have to front up, it’s Quarter-Final football on day two and it’s a brand new day,” Friend said.
Australia 19 defeated Samoa 12
Australia opened the scoring through Simon Kennewell after a weight of possession deep in Samoa’s half. Some brilliant cover defence from Henry Hutchison kept Samoa out but it wasn’t for long, as Samoa Toloa went down the right wing to make it 7-all.
Australia responded straight off the kickoff though, with some great interplay from Tom Lucas setting John Porch away before his chip over the top sat up for Lachie Anderson to dot down.
Faalemiga Selesele hit back for Samoa early in the second half but they couldn’t convert, as Australia held a narrow two-point lead. Australia working their way up field off the ensuing kickoff for Kennewell to grab his second try of the game and give his side a seven point win.
Australia 29 defeated Kenya 7
A scintillating start from Australia as Simon Kennewell stepped his way through to set Liam McNamara away, before a pinpoint pass put John Porch over to open the scoring.
Henry Hutchison on the scoresheet shortly after thanks to a probing run down the left wing from skipper Tom Lucas to take the score to 12-nil. A yellow card to Kenya had them defending with six men to end the half and Hutchison capitalised to make it 17-nil at the break.
Hutchison completed his hat-trick early in the second half as he swooped on a offload from Charlie Taylor to score down the right wing. Kenya hit back through Nelson Oyoo to make the score 22-7 with three minutes left to play. Liam McNamara closed out the scoring on the stroke of full-time with a try under the posts to make it 29-7.
Australia 19 defeated Argentina 7
A slower start to the last game on day one as Argentina tried to play the territorial game with a few tired bodies. Charlie Taylor showing no fatigue though as he burst down the right wing to score with an acrobatic dive before Tom Lucas aced the sideline conversion to make it 7-nil. Some brilliant soccer skills from Franco Sabato brought Argentina level at the break though, after he broke away to score from 60 metres out.
Simon Kennewell burst into the second half with two monster runs helping him to a five-pointer under the posts to make it 14-7 with five minutes left to play. Former captain Ed Jenkins was forced to leave the field shortly after, after he fell awkwardly in a tackle but was able to walk off to receive medical attention. Australia were then reduced to six men after Nick Malouf was shown yellow for a high tackle but it didn’t stop Henry Hutchison, as he raced away to seal the game and score his 50th career try.
News Source: ARU Media