Australia set for mouthwatering clash with Fiji in Port Elizabeth

by Staff Writer

The Qantas Australian Men's Sevens team has qualified for the Cup Quarter-Finals at the South Africa Sevens in Port Elizabeth and will play series leaders Fiji on Sunday evening (AEDT).

Australia finished second in Pool B after falling to Argentina (31-21) in the final game of the day at a boisterous Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Earlier, the men in gold sealed a spot in the Cup Quarter-Finals after seeing off the challenge of Portugal (33-21) and Zimbabwe (50-0).

Despite securing qualification to the main competition, Head Coach Geraint John has challenged his players to raise their game on Day Two.

"The Argentina game was a disappointing end to what I felt was a slightly disappointing day. I didn't feel we performed particularly well and we missed too many tackles.

"However, it's a new day tomorrow and we are in the Cup Quarters against a Fiji side who will be looking for a bit of revenge on us after last week in Dubai. But we've set ourselves high standards and it's up to us now to ensure the players recover and prepare properly for Fiji."

On a day where many of the countries familiar with the top end of the World Series standings struggled to make the impact they would have hoped for in Port Elizabeth, John added: "A few of the coaches have talked about it and we can't put our finger on it. We looked a bit tired ourselves but when you look at countries like Samoa, Wales and Canada not qualifying for the Quarters, I'm happy to be there."

Australia's campaign got underway at the South Africa Sevens with a scrappy win over a gallant Portugal side. The two sides traded blows in the opening half and went in tied at 14-14 at the break with Pama Fou and Cameron Clark crossing over. Tries from Fou once again and James Stannard opened up a handy lead before the Europeans hit back once more. Con Foley sealed the win as he broken through a tiring Portuguese defence to take the points.

Hat-tricks to Nick Malouf and Alex Gibbon were the highlights of a comfortable win over Zimbabwe - a victory that guaranteed a spot in Sunday's Cup Quarter-Finals. Sam Myers surged half the length of the field to dot down while James Stannard put a gloss on the win with the final play of the game as Australia reached the half-century for the first time this season.

In the final game of the pool, the Aussies were unable to recover from a disappointing first period that saw them trail 19-0 to Argentina. Pama Fou replied just after the break but Santiago Cordero restored the South Americans advantage. Fou crossed over again, but Argentina scored to pull clear through German Schulz and confirm the win. An Allan Fa'alava'au break and touch down after the siren wasn't enough to deny Argentina victory.

Elsewhere in tomorrow's Cup Quarter-Finals, Argentina will play Scotland, South Africa take on England while New Zealand are up against the United States.

Fans can catch all of the action from Finals Day at the Dubai Sevens by tuning into FOX SPORTS 2 on Sunday from 7.40pm AEDT.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens results in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 13-14 December:

Australia 33-21 Portugal, Pool B

Australia 50-0 Zimbabwe, Pool B

Australia 21-31 Argentina, Pool B

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixture in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 14 December:

Australia v Fiji, Cup Quarter-Final, 9.41pm AEDT

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