Australian Sevens to face off against Fiji in Paris Cup Quarter-Finals

May 14 • General News, International, Super Rugby • 1701 Views • Comments Off on Australian Sevens to face off against Fiji in Paris Cup Quarter-Finals

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The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens side will play World Series champions Fiji in the Paris Sevens Cup Finals later today (AEST) after qualifying from the pool stages at the Stade Jean-Bouin overnight.

After defeating Brazil on Day One (38-0), Australia followed up by defeating England (24-19) before falling well short against a red-hot South Africa (31-0) to finish runners up in Pool C.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Andy Friend said: “The game against England was a bit scrappy but we showed a real hunger to fight hard and win the key moments.

“What the games today did show – and in particular the game against South Africa – is that teams are having a real go at our breakdown. Against South Africa I didn’t feel we were anywhere near strong enough and to be honest we would have been beaten by quite a few sides. The breakdown is an area we need to look at – it was a real wake-up call. When we stick to our shape and structures, we’re a good side but we moved away from that against them.”

On the Cup Quarter-Final clash with Fiji, Friend added: “They are clearly a quality side and were very impressive in pool play today. That said, we’ll be confident going into the game given we really should have won against them in Singapore. They gave us a good touch up in Hong Kong but we beat them well in Vancouver. So we are capable of winning. We must show plenty of physicality to unsettle them as we saw Kenya do in the Cup Final in Singapore last month.”

Australia kicked off Day Two with a hard-fought win over England. A dominant start from Andy Friend’s side eventually saw Con Foley cross over on the left in the opening 50 seconds. A Tom Bowen double gave the English the lead but Foley responded with another try of his own when James Stannard capitalised on a loose ball from a line-out to set the 23-year-old Queenslander into the clear.

With the game firmly in the balance deep in the second period, it was Pat McCutcheon who emerged the hero with two tries in two minutes to book Australia’s spot in the last eight to qualify for an 11th straight World Series Cup Quarter-Final. An Alex Davis score after the siren proved no more than a consolation for England.

In the final game of the day in Paris, South Africa scored five tries without reply in a dominant display against Australia to secure top spot in the pool.

In-form outside back Seabalo Senatla and Rosco Specman both scored doubles and Francois Hougaard added a five-pointer of his own in the dying stages to put the seal on a convincing Blitzbokke performance.

Elsewhere in tomorrow’s other Cup Quarter-Finals, New Zealand will play Argentina, hosts France entertain Kenya and South Africa will meet Samoa.

FOX SPORTS Channel 502 will broadcast Finals Day LIVE from the French capital from 5.30pm (AEST) on Sunday evening.

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