Defeat to USA caps poor weekend for Aussie Sevens in Tokyo

by Staff Writer

The Qantas Australian Men's Sevens side slipped out of the HSBC Sevens World Series top four placings for the first time since December after finishing a disappointing weekend in Tokyo in tenth position.

After missing out on the Cup competition, Australia defeated Kenya (14-5) in the Bowl Quarter-Final before seeing off Wales (17-12) in the Bowl Semi-Final. A sudden-death extra-time loss to the USA (12-17) saw Geraint John's side leave the Prince Chichibu Stadium with eight points.

Qantas Australian Sevens Head Coach Geraint John said: "I thought we dug in and I couldn't fault the attitude of the players today, but I still don't think we played too well and we left a lot of tries out on the field. The game against the USA summed up our weekend, it was another game where chances went begging.

"The aim for us over the next few days and weeks is to make sure everyone is fit and fresh and ready to go for Glasgow next month. England proved this weekend that it can turn around very quickly and that's exactly what we will be looking to do."

The cold, wet conditions didn't allow for free, flowing football in Tokyo but Australia did enough to beat Kenya first up on Day Two. Con Foley fed Nick Malouf to cross over and Malouf then offloaded to Greg Jeloudev to dot down. Billy Odhiambo shrugged off the challenge of Shannon Walker to score for the Kenyans but it proved too little too late.

Another scrappy affair saw Australia come out on top over Wales. In a game which saw the lead change hands three times, a Cameron Clark double and a try from Tom Lucas helped the men in green and gold to the win. In the Bowl Final, Australia were defeated for the third time of the weekend with a sudden-death extra-time defeat to the USA.

An early try from Pama Fou was cancelled out by speedster Carlin Isles, only for Ed Jenkins to restore the Aussies' advantage when he finished off a fine move. Danny Barrett levelled once again for the Americans and Perry Baker crossed over following a patient move to win the game for the Eagles.

England has overtaken Australia in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series standings after defeating ladder leaders South Africa (21-14) to take 22 points away from Japan. Fiji finished third with a win over Canada while New Zealand ended the Tokyo Sevens in fifth.

South Africa lead the series on 129 points, with Fiji on 125 points. New Zealand are third on 120 points, England fourth on 100 points and Australia a further nine points back with just two rounds of the series to play. The next round of the series heads to Glasgow on the weekend of the 9-10 May.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens results in Tokyo, Japan, 4-5 April:

Australia 10-12 Portugal, Pool B

Australia 14-17 Scotland, Pool B

Australia 19-14 New Zealand, Pool B

Australia 14-5 Kenya, Bowl Quarter-Final

Australia 17-12 Wales, Bowl Semi-Final

Australia 12-17 USA, Bowl Final

Final placings for the Tokyo Sevens (Top 10): 1. England (22 World Series points), 2. South Africa (19 points), 3. Fiji (17 points), 4. Canada (15 points), 5. New Zealand (13 points), 6. Scotland (12 points), 7. Japan / France (10 points), 9. USA (8 points), 10. Australia (7 points)

Current standings in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series after seven rounds (Top 6): 1. South Africa (129 World Series points), 2. Fiji (125 points), 3. New Zealand (120 points), 4. England (100 points), 5. Australia (91 points) 6. USA (71 points)

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