Aussies through to London Cup Quarter-Finals

Sunday May 21, 2017

The Australian Men’s Sevens team have qualified for the Cup Quarter-Finals in London following two wins on day one at Twickenham.

Australia will now play United States of America in the Cup Quarter Final at 7:58pm (AEST) on Sunday May 21.

Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend said: “It was probably some of the most clinical rugby we’ve played. The boys started really well against Samoa, we had our opportunities against England and it was a game that we probably could have and should have won and then to put 50 points on Spain at the end topped off what was a very good day.”

“When USA have the football, they are very dangerous. Our job tomorrow is to get hold of the footy and not give it to them. We did that in Hong Kong when we last beat them but it was a different story when we played them in Singapore and they put about 40 points on us.”

It was a special day too for captain James Stannard, who racked up his 1000th point in the Sevens World Series on day one.

“He’s a special player but what I like even more is that what I when went up to him to congratulate him, he said ‘I’d give it all up for a Cup win this weekend’ and I said that would be nice. He’s all about the team, it’s not about him at all and he’s an inspiration for these young lads,” Friend said.

Australia 34 defeated Samoa 5
Australia were after revenge after a defeat to Samoa in the pool stages in Paris last weekend and it didn’t take Lachie Anderson long to open the scoring down the right edge. James Stannard duly converted before the 41-cap veteran scored a five-pointer of his own just a minute later.

A lighting turnover from Boyd Killingworth allowed John Porch to pounce and give Australia a 17-nil lead with just five minutes gone. Stannard closed out the scoring in the first half, diving over for his second try of the opening period and push Australia’s lead out to 22-nil at the break.

The Stannard show continued in the second half as he racked up his 1000th point in the Sevens World Series when he completed his hat-trick of tries. Liam McNamara was sin-binned shortly after but Australia’s defence held strong with just six men on the field.

Australia’s returned to their full compliment, and returned to the scoresheet, with Stannard turning provider this time, passing out wide to a flying Brandon Quinn. Samoa eventually scoring a consolation try after the final siren to bring the score to 34-5, to Australia.

Australia 12 lost to England 19
Australia took on hosts England in their second game of the day and raced to an early lead thanks to a try to Boyd Killingworth off a great kick behind by John Porch. Some staunch Australian defence couldn’t keep England out forever, and Phil Burgess eventually reaped the rewards for the Red Roses out wide, to make it 7-5 to Australia at the break.

Simon Kennewell stormed into the second half, shrugging off several would-be tacklers to run 50 metres to score. Dan Norton showed some individual brilliance of his own not long after, as England converted to tie it up at 12-all. A yellow card to Killingworth for a late tackle reduced Australia to six as a last-gasp ankle tap stopped Norton grabbing a double for the hosts. The speedster eventually breaking Australian hearts though, with a superb individual effort with just 20 seconds to go giving England a 19-12 win.

Australia 50 defeated Spain 0
Australia’s Cup qualification came down to their final game on day one, and they didn’t disappoint against Spain early as Tom Kingston scored out wide. James Stannard’s starring role on the opening day continued as he scored of his own restart before converting.

Simon Kennewell grabbed his own five-pointer next before Kingston nabbed a double to bring Australia’s lead to 28-0 after five minutes. The first-half scoring wasn’t done there though with John Porch joining the scoresheet as he barged over while Nick Malouf grabbed a five-pointer after the siren to make it 40-nil at the break.

The scoring slowed in the second half as Australia rotated through their squad but Tim Anstee gave a glimpse of his speed as he dotted down for his 10th try of the season. Malouf’s double, and the 50th point of the game, coming after full-time as the veteran burst down the right edge following a cutout ball from Dylan Pietsch.

News Source: ARU Media