Australian Sevens side set up Quarter-Final clash with hosts in Cape Town

Dec 12 • General News, International, Sevens World Series, World Rugby • 2218 Views • Comments Off on Australian Sevens side set up Quarter-Final clash with hosts in Cape Town

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The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team will play hosts South Africa in the Cup Quarter-Finals after going undefeated on the opening day of the Cape Town Sevens.

Australia beat Portugal (45-0), Wales (21-14) and the USA (26-21) to top Pool C at a sell-out 55,000 Cape Town Stadium overnight to set up a clash with a South African side that has won the last two events in their home country.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens interim Head Coach Scott Bowen said: “We had three good performances today. We showed a real hunger out there to both save points and support our team-mates when line-breaks were made. Everyone was willing to contribute to that hard work in areas that tend to go unnoticed.

“It was invaluable to get those players who haven’t had a lot of game time – the likes of Tom Kingston, Stephan van der Walt and Boyd Killingworth –  a good run out. Not only for the short-term like this tournament but as we look to build depth leading up to the Rio Olympics.

“I thought Boyd was terrific and had an outstanding debut. He was the catalyst behind a lot of the good things we did in both attack and defence and showed just why we decided to contract him after a strong NRC tournament with the North Harbour Rays. To play as well as he did today after limited experience in Sevens, particularly at international level, was really pleasing.”

On South Africa, Bowen added: “They are probably the best balanced team in the world. They have a wonderful mix of flair and power and are the complete package. The fact they are also at home means the challenge ahead is even more exciting.”

The Australians got their Cape Town campaign off to a strong start with a comfortable win over Portugal. Tom Cusack opened the scoring in the opening two minutes before an inside ball from skipper Lewis Holland released Pama Fou to dot down. Cusack added his second of the game immediately from the kick off and Tom Kingston scored his sides fourth of the half to give Australia a 26-point lead at the break.

Debutants Boyd Killingworth (two) and highly-rated teenage outside back Henry Hutchison both scored their first HSBC Sevens World Series tries to cap a fine display.

Australia confirmed a place in tomorrow’s Cup Quarter-Final with a nervy win over much-improved Wales. Skipper Lewis Holland escaped two challenges to score first but Wales hit back through Chris Knight. Luke Trehearne gave the Welsh the lead early in the second period only for Greg Jeloudev to reply almost immediately. Henry Hutchison registered his second try of the weekend with two minutes to go to give his team a the hard-earned win.

Scott Bowen’s men secured top spot in Pool C after a see-saw battle saw them come out on top against in-form USA. Madison Hughes gave the Dubai Sevens Cup Semi-Finalists the lead only for Greg Jeloudev to level things up within a minute after some hard running from Stephan van der Walt. Allan Fa’alava’au gave the Australians a slender half-time lead after a prolonged period of possession in the opposition 22.

Jeloudev crossed over two minutes into the second half but Kevin Swiryn and then a length of the field try from the fastest man in rugby – Carlin Isles – looked to have earned a draw for the Americans. However, a turnover penalty engineered by Boyd Killingworth ultimately saw Henry Hutchison cross over after the siren to take out the win and the pool.

In the Cup Quarter-Finals of the second leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, series leaders Fiji will play France, New Zealand meet Argentina and Kenya face off against the USA.

All of the action from Finals Day in Cape Town will be broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS 2 from 7.25pm AEDT.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens results in Cape Town, South Africa, 12-13 December:
Australia 45-0 Portugal, Pool C
Australia 21-14 Wales, Pool C
Australia 26-21 USA, Pool C

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixture in Cape Town, South Africa, 13 December:
Australia v South Africa, Cup Quarter-Final, 9.26pm AEDT

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