The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens side has gone down to England in the battle for Fifth Place in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens on Sunday morning.
Australia had earlier lost to New Zealand in the Quarter Final, ensuring that the men in gold were fighting for Fifth Place but were unable to halt England who won the close encounter 21-24.
The men in gold will return home for the final weeks of training before the Christmas break with the Hamilton and HSBC Sydney 7s the first two tournaments in the new year.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “Underperforming on day two and unacceptable commitment to defence has cost us valuable series points.
“There are three key on field components to being a World class Seven team and we did not perform in two of these areas today. Our attack was the highlight but at this level you have to be your best in every moment in all facets.
“We have eight more rounds of the series left and looking forward to the next two in Hamilton and Sydney.”
Australia 17 was defeated by New Zealand 26
It was all one-way traffic in the opening minutes of the quarter final with the men in black shooting out to a 0-14 lead. New Zealand continued to hammer the Australian defence with the men in black dominating possession and territory Australia struck back late in the first half with the livewire Maurice Longbottom earning the Australians their first points, moving the scoreboard to 5-14 at the break.
New Zealand continued their success at the start of the second half with back to back tries to Amanaki Nicole ensuring the men in black increased their advantage. A fight back emerged from the green and gold with late tries to Ben O’Donnell and Henry Hutchison brought the scores closer but New Zealand had done enough to ensure a 17-26 victory.
Australia 21 was defeated by England 24
England were the first to strike in the Fifth-Place semi-finals after several minutes attacking the men in gold’s line. The Aussies built into the match, eventually able to strike back after probing from left to right with John Porch making some space for Maurice Longbottom who gave Australia a 7-5 lead heading into the break. As the Final play Siren flashed on the screens, Tom Mitchell broke through Australia’s line to score, to restore the lead for England at the break.
The Aussie7s scored the first points of the second half and took the lead with Maurice Longbottom slicing his way through the defence to score. England struck back straight away to re-take the lead, pacing more pressure on the men in gold to find points. Will Muir brushed away the Australian defence to put the Aussie 7s under further pressure with England advancing to 14-24 with two minutes to play. With time counting down, Australia managed to score through Tom Connor who received a good inside ball to score underneath the posts, lowering the gap to 21-24. Australia couldn’t regain the ball off the kick off, allowing England to claim the match.