Aussie Sevens stumble in Cape Town
12 December 2016
RUGBY SEVENS: The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team have had a disappointing day at the Cape Town Sevens, losing to Argentina in the Challenge Trophy Semi Final on day two.
Australia started the day with a strong victory of Rugby minnow, Uganda (42-12) but the injury affected Australian side didn’t apply critical pressure on Argentina when they had the advantage, which allowed the South Americans to come back in the match.
Qantas Australian Men’s Head Coach Andy Friend: “We are very disappointed with the whole weekend.
“We made too many simple errors in our game against Argentina. When we should be showing composure, we’re not. We are not working together as a unit at the moment which is disappointing.
“We have a lot of new blokes in this side. Sevens is about getting a squad and getting it to gel, understand each other and work with each other.
“We said at the start of this year that we wanted to make the Quarter Finals of every tournament. We didn’t make this one, therefore it is unacceptable.
“The important thing for us now is that we head into this Christmas period and don’t take it as a break but take it as an opportunity to continue to work on our fitness, speed, strength and skills and hopefully come back able to perform better than what we did at these two tournaments.”
Australia 42 defeated Uganda 12
The Australians were clinical from kick off against their African rivals, scoring the opening try through Captain, Sam Myers taking the score to 7-0. A lapse in defence from the Aussie7s and an accidental block from the referee on James Stannard allowed Uganda to strike back and level the scores 7-7.
Australian speedster, Henry Hutchison gave the men in gold the lead again with a brilliant individual run that carved through the defence to take the score to 14-7. Alex Gibbon scored the team’s third try just before half time to take the score to 21-7 at the break.
The 19-year-old, Tim Anstee scored his first tournament of the weekend at the start of the second half with the young speedster, replacing the injured Ed Jenkins. Both sides traded tries but the experience of the Aussie7s was too much for the developing Rugby nation, with Australia winning the match 42-12.
Argentina 21 defeated Australia 17
Alex Gibbon started the match off perfectly for the men in gold, catching the ball off the kick off and evading the defence to score beneath the posts to give Australia an early 7-0 lead. Argentina countered moments later with a breakaway try underneath the posts, levelling the scores 7-7. Alex Gibbon scored his second try of the match just before half time to take the score to 12-7 at the interval.
Argentina took the lead early in the second half off some well worked play that allowed them to score under the posts taking the score to 12-14. A second try to Argentina put more pressure on the Australians with the South American nation taking the lead for the first time in the match 12-21. A late try to Alex Gibbon that gave the Aussie7s hope of stealing back victory with less than a minute to play with the score at 17-21. Argentina’s defence held firm, ending the Aussie7s participation on day two.
The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team will now head back to Sydney to prepare for the Wellington Sevens early next year.
Sevens World Series, Cape Town, Day 2:
Australia 42-12 Uganda
Australia 17-21 Argentina
The side got off to a slow start to the tournament with losses against the USA and South Africa preventing the Aussie 7s from continuing their good form from the Dubai Sevens last weekend.
Australia went down to USA (0-19) and tournament hosts, South Africa (7-29) in two tough Pool A clashes with a victory over Russia the only positive for the men in gold.
Australia will play Uganda in the Challenge Trophy Quarter Finals at 7.36 pm AEDT on Sunday 11 December.
Qantas Australia Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Andy Friend: “It’s been a disappointing day, we were our own worst enemy and we started really poorly. We had multiple chances against the USA with six visits into the 22 with no result. Full credit to the USA, they took their chances and deserve their victory.
“I thought we were a lot better against Russia and came out in a very spirited game against South Africa. I don’t think the score reflected the game, I thought we put up a really good showing, but we didn’t get the rub of the green at all which hurt us there.
“We play Uganda tomorrow, we must win that. The best we can finish now is ninth, so our target is to finish ninth.”
USA 19 defeated Australia 0
Australia spent the first half camped in the USA’s 22 and were left to rue missed opportunities to open the scoring. An intercept to American speedster, Perry Baker was a shut the gate moment with the former sprinter out gassing the Aussie7s to take the lead to 0-7 for the USA where the lead would remain at half time.
Two quick tries at the start of the second half by the USA, took the match away from Australia as the USA took advantage of their opportunities to win the match 0-19.
Australia 36 defeated Russia 0
Jesse Parahi broke through the Russian line within the first 30 seconds as a fired-up Australia returned to form and scored the opening points. Ed Jenkins scored Australia’s second try moments later as the Aussie7s extended their lead to 10-0. The experience of the men in gold continued to shine in the first half with veteran James Stannard scoring under the posts to take the lead to 17-0.
Slick work through the hands by Australia saw Charlie Taylor open the scoring in the second half, burning the defence out wide to score under the posts. Tries to Sam Myers and Stephan Van der Walt buried any final chances for Russia with Australia running out winners 36-0.
South Africa 29 defeated Australia 7
There was no love lost between the two sides in the fiery clash with the opening moments marred by tense moments between the two nations. The hosts were the first to score, capitalising off back to back penalties which marched them up the field to take the score to 0-5. Two quick tries to South Africa, pleased the crowd heading into the half time break with the score at 0-17.
South Africa continued that dominance off the kick off in the second half, scoring their fourth try and almost burying all hopes of an Aussie7s comeback. Australian Captain Sam Myers scored the first try for the men in gold off a line break from Henry Hutchison to take the score to 7-24. A final South African try was the final nail in the coffin for Australia with the final score remaining at 7-29.
Sevens World Series, Cape Town, day 1:
Australia 0-19 USA
Australia 36-0 Russia
Australia 7-29 South Africa
Australian Rugby Union