The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team has fallen to Scotland in the battle to secure the Challenge Trophy on Sunday in Hong Kong in round seven of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
Australia defeated Portugal in their opening clash on Sunday but fell to Scotland in a two-point thriller, 17-19. Australia will now travel to Singapore for the HSBC Singapore Sevens.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh said: “It doesn’t feel like it right now and results don’t reflect it, but we made some head way from a longer-term perspective this weekend.
“I don’t have excuses and I am accountable for this team’s performance. We prepare to perform, and we always will. Sevens is a brutal game and requires physical and mental resilience.
“It also requires a group of players with skill, experience and dedication to the cause.”
Australia 26 defeated Portugal 21
In the Challenge Trophy quarter final Portugal shot out to an early lead, scoring back to back tries mid-way through the first half to lead Australia 0-14. The Aussie 7s were unable to put consistent pressure on the Europeans, finding space out wide to score their third try and take a 0-21 lead. Australia got on the board as the siren sounded for half time with offloads from Jeral Skelton and Tim Anstee creating space for Maurice Longbottom to accelerate away to score to lower the gap to 7-21.
Australia forced the issue early in the second half with Simon Kennewell powering his way through the line to score in the corner, taking the score to 12-21. Kennewell again found the line scoring in the corner, which Lewis Holland converted to make it a one score ball game. Joe Pincus regathered the ball off the restart, giving Australia the lead for the first time in the game, 26-21.
Australia 17 defeated by Scotland 19
Australia started the match on the backfoot, with Scotland’s Harvey Elms crossing the line in quick succession, to give the Scottish side an early lead. Though a quick-footed Australian offensive late in the first half saw the ball make its way out to Maurice Longbottom who crossed the line in the corner closing the gap to 12-5 as both teams headed into halftime.
The second half saw the Australian outfit disallowed yet another try early on with a forward pass being called preventing Henry Hutchinson from running the length of the field. This allowed for Scotland’s Jamie Ferndale to cross the line furthering Scotland’s Lead 19-12. Jeral Skelton was next to cross the line for the men in gold, scoring next to the posts for his first try of the tournament, Lewis Holland added the extras and closed the gap to 19-12. Now with momentum on their side, Brandon Quinn was next to cross the line for Australia, reducing the difference between the two teams. However, the conversion from the sideline proved difficult, resulting in Scotland finishing out the match ahead 19-17.