Defeats to NZ, England halt Aussie Sevens
5 May 2014
RUGBY SEVENS: The Australian Men’s Sevens team slipped to defeats against a powerful New Zealand outfit and an inspired England side on Day Two to finish their Glasgow Sevens campaign in joint-seventh place at Scotstoun Stadium.
Michael O’Connor’s young team were always up against it versus an All Blacks team now within touching distance of securing its fourth consecutive Sevens World Series crown after claiming the Glasgow Sevens title.
After a cagey start, Tim Mikkelson pierced a hole in the Australian defence to open the scoring before Scott Curry gave his side a 10-0 at the break after crossing the line after the half-time siren.
Centre Ben Lam expertly finished off a breakaway while Cameron Clark responded with a try for the green and gold with two minutes to go. It was not enough, however, to see Australia lose 19-7 to its trans-Tasman rivals and bow out of the Cup competition at the Quarter-Final stage.
England captain Tom Mitchell proved the scourge of Australia in the Plate Semi-Final, scoring 11 of his sides 21 points in an impressive first-half display. England led 21-0 at the break and despite a spirited second half riposte, Afa Pakalani’s sidestep and Cameron Clark’s conversion was all Australia could register on the scoreboard as they fell to a 21-7 loss.
Head Coach Michael O’Connor said: “There are some good components of our game that we improved on from Hong Kong but we are yet to put that into a complete performance on the field.
“We hope to pull that together for the final tournament of the series next week.”
Elsewhere, led by Head Coach Geraint John, Canada reached its first ever World Series Cup Final but were powerless to stop the New Zealand juggernaut (54-7). Fiji beat hosts Scotland in the 3rd/4th Place Play-Off (17-10) while England took out the Plate Final after beating Kenya (26-5).
The final round of the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series season heads to Twickenham, London next weekend, with 75,000 spectators expected for Day One of the tournament.
Final placing’s for the Glasgow Sevens (top 7): 1. New Zealand (22 World Series points), 2. Canada (19 points), 3. Fiji (17 points), 4. Scotland (15 points), 5. England (13 points), 6. Kenya (12 points), 7. Australia (10 points), 7. South Africa (10 points)
Current IRB Sevens World Series standings with one round to go (top 6): 1. New Zealand (158 World Series points), 2. South Africa (139 points), 3. Fiji (129 points), 4. England (117 points), 5. Australia (97 points), 6. Canada (82 points)
Australian Men’s Sevens results in Glasgow, Scotland, 3-5 May:
Australia 7-19 Scotland, Pool D
Australia 36-7 Spain, Pool D
Australia 34-14 United States, Pool D
Australia 7–19 New Zealand, Cup Quarter-Final
Australia 7-21 England, Plate Semi-Final