The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens side have exited at the fifth-place Semi-Final stage in a disappointing day two at the HSBC London Sevens.
The Aussies first task was the Cup Quarter Final against hosts England at Twickenham. The Australians off to the better start and held a slender five-point lead at the break, however they were unable to hold on in the second stanza, going down in a thriller 17-21.
The side didn’t have long to regroup before they took on New Zealand in the fifth-place Semi-Final. The Australians struggled to get any kind of momentum in the game, bowing out of the tournament with a disappointing 38-7 defeat.
Australia has held on to fourth place on the HSBC Sevens World Series ladder on 118 points.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens coach, Tim Walsh said: “It was unacceptable from all of us. We came out this morning, prepared and ready to play and then we had some crucial things against England that really let us down.
“How we respond to today is going to be the making of us, whether it be a defining moment or the building of character. The good teams are the ones that are consistent and that’s where we’re not, and that’s where we need to build, to be that team that we know we can be.
“The beauty of our game is we don’t have to wait too long for another crack. We’ve got some players coming in from Australia and they’ll be fresh and ready to go for Paris.”
The Aussie 7s will now travel to Paris for the final leg of the hsbc Sevens World Series, where the Australians have been placed in Pool C with Wales, Spain and Ireland.
Cup Quarter Final: Australia 17 defeated by England 21
The Aussies were faced with the rare challenge of taking on England at Twickenham in the Cup quarter final and it was the home team with the faster start. The experienced Mike Ellery with a kick and chase in behind the defensive line to cross for first score of the match. The Aussies responded immediately with a top class try. Sam Myers plucking the ball out of the air from the restart before a super interchange from John Porch and Tim Anstee allowed Lachie Anderson to cross the white stripe. The Australians were soon in front, the light-footed Maurice Longbottom scoring with one of his first touches after coming off the bench. His five-pointer putting the side in front by five at the break.
The second stanza began similarly to the first, with the home side getting early points. Skipper Lewis Holland missed touch with a penalty kick, allowing try scoring machine Dan Norton to find himself with some space, getting on the outside of Longbottom before beating Holland to put his side back in front. The English then got another shortly after through another piece of individual brilliance. This time Alex Davis caught the Aussies without a sweeper, putting a kick in behind that sat up nicely as he regathered to send them nine points in the clear. Ben O’Donnell wrestled one back for the Australians with 90 seconds remaining on the clock to send the match to a grandstand finish. The Aussies with one last opportunity as the clock ran down but an overthrow from a lineout meant the score would finish 21-17 and their Cup ambitions extinguished.
Fifth Place Semi Final: Australia 7 defeated by New Zealand 38
It was an old fashioned Trans-Tasman battle when the Australians faced off with New Zealand in the fifth-place semi-final. The Aussies struggling for possession early, as the Kiwi’s skipper Kurt Baker opened the scoring, finishing off some nice work from his teammates on the inside. New Zealand smelled blood and piled on more pain when Tim Mikkelson and Scott Curry scored within minutes of each other on the same blade of grass to send them to half time 19-0 in front.
The Aussies continued to struggle to find a spark in the second half, Regan Ware breaking through the defensive line for another five-pointer to the men wearing black. The Aussies finally getting themselves on the scoreboard when Boyd Killingworth deceived the defence to slice through and step the sweeper in a superb individual effort. The New Zealanders hit back almost immediately, with Ware getting his double and ending the Aussies London campaign in bitterly disappointing fashion.
London Sevens day two results
Cup Quarter Final: Australia 17-21 England
Fifth place Semi-Final: Australia 7-38 New Zealand