Rugby Sevens

Aussie Sevens miss out on silverware

Sunday December 13, 2009 by  

Australia were unable to repeat their giant-killing feats of Dubai as New Zealand stormed home at the George Sevens to beat Fiji 21-12 and claim their second iRB Sevens World Series Cup title in as many weeks on Saturday (Sunday AEDT).

The Kiwis go into the break with a maximum 48 points from the first two legs of the Series and head into the Wellington Sevens with an impressive 12-point lead over Fiji. Australia has 18 points after a disappointing final day at OuteniquaPark, George.

The Australian Sevens struggled against the might of Kenya in the Cup quarterfinals and despite scoring two second half tries through Shaun Foley and Pat McCutcheon were defeated 24-12.

They faced an even tougher assignment against England in the Plate semi-finals and were right in the battle when captain McCutcheon scored his second try of the day early in the match to give Australia a 5-0 lead. Read more

Aussie Sevens through to Quarter Finals

Saturday December 12, 2009 by  

Australian Sevens coach Michael O’Connor says his young team will rise to the challenge when they meet Kenya in the Cup quarterfinals of the IRB Sevens World Series in George, South Africa on Saturday (Sunday AEDT).

Australia won through to the Cup quarters for the second time in as many tournaments after finishing second, behind Fiji, in Pool B on Friday.

O’Connor’s team played out a hard-fought 14-all draw against Russia in their opening match in George, then fought back to record a solid 21-5 victory over Portugal.

Fiji put an end to Australia’s undefeated run and handed the youngsters a lesson in Sevens with a comprehensive 31-0 drubbing in their final pool match. Read more

Aussie Sevens to shrug Rookie tag

Thursday December 10, 2009 by  

Australian Rugby Sevens coach Michael O’Connor is confident his rookie squad will show the benefit of experience gained in Dubai and achieve even better results when the second-leg of the iRB Sevens World Series kicks off in George, South Africa on Friday (Saturday AEDT).

Australia’s youthful team, featuring ten debutants, defied all expectation at last weekend’s Dubai Sevens tournament to beat defending champions South Africa 7-0 in the Plate final, and relegate the experienced Springbok Sevens to sixth.

Series debutant Clinton Sills scored the match-winning try deep into overtime during the first half and Bernard Foley nailed a crucial conversion to reverse a horror 29-nil thumping a day earlier at the hands of the ‘Boks.

Sills heads into the second leg of the series as the equal highest try-scorer alongside New Zealand’s Sherwin Stowers with nine tries apiece. Read more

Aussie Sevens topple World Champions

Sunday December 6, 2009 by  

The Australian Rugby Sevens team have beaten defending champions South Africa 7-0 to claim the Plate trophy at the iRB Sevens World Series in Dubai overnight (Sunday AEDT).

Coach Michael O’Connor’s youthful side put yesterday’s disappointing 29-nil loss to the Springbok Sevens behind them and gave a brilliant performance to claim the 12 tournament points on offer in front of 40,000 spectators at ‘The Sevens’ stadium.

Series debutant Clinton Sills scored the only try of the match deep into overtime in the first half and Bernard Foley kicked the conversion to give Australia their match winning score-line.

Sills’s try took his series tally to nine which crowned him the tournament’s equal highest tryscorer with New Zealand’s Sherwin Stowers. Read more

Aussies through to Dubai Quarterfinals

Saturday December 5, 2009 by  

Australia are through to the quarter-finals of the Dubai Rugby Sevens but were handed a reality check from defending tournament champions South Africa in their final pool match on Saturday (AEDT).

Coach Michael O’Connor’s youthful side finished second in their pool with solid victories over Wales and the Arabian Gulf and will face Samoa in the first of tomorrow’s Cup quarterfinals.

Australia made the best possible start to the iRB Sevens World Series when they defeated Arabian Gulf 47-7 in their opening match.

They backed up their strong first performance with a 14-7 victory over reigning Sevens World Cup champions Wales. Read more

Coach backs Sevens rookies to shine

Wednesday December 2, 2009 by  

Australian Rugby Sevens coach Michael O’Connor says his youthful squad is eager to step out onto the world stage and perform when the iRB Sevens World Series kicks off in Dubai on Friday.

O’Connor’s 12-man team has an average age of just 20 and only two players – captain Patrick McCutcheon and utility back Brian Sefanaia – have previous experience on the eight-leg Sevens circuit.

Junior NSW Waratahs and Sydney University flanker McCutcheon made his debut on the Sevens circuit in 2007 and will look to the experience of fellow series regular Sefanaia during the two-day event as ten of their teammates make their international debut.

Despite his side’s inexperience, O’Connor is full of confidence his talented rookies will make the step-up at the two-day long tournament. Read more

Rookies dominate Sevens squad

Monday November 23, 2009 by  

Australian Rugby Sevens coach Michael O’Connor has named 10 rookies in his 18-man squad to compete in the IRB Sevens World Series which kicks off in Dubai on December 4.

Australian rugby fans can catch the action close to home when Adelaide hosts the Australian leg from March 19-21. Full tournament schedule below.

Fresh talent has been injected into the Sevens program with the likes of fullback Zack Holmes, utility back Edward Quirk and playmaker Jacob Taylor set to make their debut at the Dubai tournament alongside series regular Brian Sefanaia and captain Patrick McCutcheon.

Quirk is the youngest member of the Australian squad at 18; he was snapped up by the Queensland Reds Academy after showcasing his talent in 2008 while representing Queensland and Australia as a Schoolboy. Read more

Overhaul for World Sevens Points System

Friday November 6, 2009 by  

The International Rugby Board has announced changes to the system governing the number of points available to teams at each leg of the IRB Sevens World Series.

The number of Series points on offer at the seven 16-team events (Dubai, South Africa, New Zealand, USA, Australia, England, Scotland) has been raised to offer a better balance in relation to the one 24-team tournament in Hong Kong.

The Cup winners at the 16-team season-opener in Dubai, for example, will now take 24 points towards their Series tally, as opposed to 20, while the Hong Kong Cup winners will still earn 30 points.

The points available to teams in Hong Kong have, however, also been recalcuated to better reward teams outside the Cup competition. Read more

Strong Interest to host RWC Sevens 2013

Tuesday November 3, 2009 by  

The International Rugby Board has confirmed that eight Unions have expressed a formal interest to host Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013.

Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Russia, Scotland and USA all submitted their interest to tender for the global showcase tournament by the deadline on October 30.

The strong level of tender interest is another significant boost for Rugby Sevens at a time when the sport is enjoying its highest ever profile following the International Olympic Committee’s decision to include the sport in the Olympic Games, starting from 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.

“The International Rugby Board is delighted with the phenomenal level of interest in hosting Rugby World Cup Sevens 2013,” said Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset. Read more

Rugby returns to Olympic fold

Saturday October 10, 2009 by  

Australian Rugby Union has welcomed the historic decision by the International Olympic Committee to return Rugby to the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The IOC members, meeting in Copenhagen, voted overwhelmingly 81 to eight in support of Rugby Sevens after the code was one of two recommended by the Executive Board for inclusion in Brazil.

Golf was also accepted into the Games with a supporting vote of 63 to 27.

“This is a wonderful moment for our game, and a momentous decision by the IOC,” said ARU Managing Director and CEO John O’Neill. Read more