Perfect day for Aussie Men's Sevens in Dubai

by Staff Writer

The Qantas Australian Men's Sevens side will play Scotland in the Cup Quarter-Finals later today (Saturday) at the Dubai Sevens after topping Pool C on Day One.

Australia beat the old enemy England (12-5) in the final game of the day for the first time in the history of the Dubai Sevens to maintain their 100% record at this year's tournament.

Men's Head Coach Geraint John said: "I thought we showed excellent maturity and calmness under pressure in the game against England. We stayed in our structures, didn't panic and showed a great attitude to win...particularly in the last few minutes when we were making last-ditch tackles and working our socks off despite the odd mistake here and there.

"In the games against the USA and Kenya I always felt we were in control. But overall, it's been a good day and I'm really pleased.

"We have a really tough game against Scotland tomorrow who I'm always told are our bogey side - they gave us a good game on the Gold Coast and I'm expecting a similarly difficult game tomorrow as they were very good today. To beat Samoa, who finished runners-up on the Gold Coast, was a terrific effort.

"For us now though, it's about getting back to the hotel, recover and make sure we are prepared for that Quarter-Final game."

In a tight affair, England's Dan Norton breached the Australian defence to give his side an early lead. However, right on half-time, Lewis Holland's pinpoint kick found Pama Fou on the left wing, leaving the 24-year-old to touch down for his 44th try of his Sevens World Series career. An equally competitive second period saw few genuine try-scoring opportunities and it was no surprise that the difference would be one try. James Stannard's initial break occupied the English defence, Cameron Clark supported and found the on-rushing Allan Fa'alava'au to score his first try since becoming an Australian citizen.

Earlier, the Aussies secured qualification from Pool C to the Cup Quarter-Finals after beating Kenya (29-12) and a dangerous United States (26-10).

A four-man move involving Pama Fou, Tom Cusack and Lewis Holland set Cameron Clark free to open the scoring against the physical Kenyans. Ed Jenkins and Clark once again gave Australia a 17 point lead before the Africans reduced the arrears right on the siren. However, James Stannard bundled his way over early in the second period while Jenkins was the beneficiary of a sublime Holland flick pass to confirm the win.

The USA's early pressure paid off when debutant Martin Iosefo scored for the Eagles but their joy was shortlived when skipper Ed Jenkins crossed over. Cameron Clark danced his way through a dogged defence to give Australia a healthy lead at the interval.

Pama Fou looked to have settled matters for his side but the fastest man on the World Series circuit, Carlin Isles, had other ideas when he scored a long-range try. However, Jenkins again dotted down late on to seal the win a berth in tomorrow's Cup competition.

Other Cup Quarter-Finals to be played on Saturday at the 7evens Stadium in Dubai will see Fiji take on Wales, South Africa play Argentina while New Zealand have been pitted with England.

Fans can catch all of the action from Finals Day at the Dubai Sevens by tuning into FOX SPORTS 2 on Saturday from 4.20pm AEDT.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens results in Dubai, UAE, 5-6 December:

Australia 29-12 Kenya, Pool C

Australia 26-10 United States, Pool C

Australia 12-5 England, Pool C

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixture in Dubai, UAE, 6 December:

Australia v Scotland, Cup Quarter-Final, 6.22pm AEDT

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