Aussies set for third place play off in Hong Kong

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia will play off against South Africa for third place in the Hong Kong Sevens, after an opening half blitz from Fiji in their Cup semi-final on Sunday, relegated them to a 34-5 loss.

 

The two sides had split their most recent clashes, in a Cup final and third place playoff, but Fiji had the better of the Aussies on Sunday.

 

The Aussies faced a massive challenge heading into the Cup final qualifier against the reigning World Series champions, already down to 10 fit men in the competition.

 

It took just 50 seconds for Fiji to eke out an advantage, with a try to Semi Kunatani putting the Aussies seven points down.

 

A second five-pointer in the fifth minute made it a 12-point gap as Australia continued to work hard to shut down the Flying Fijians.

 

Australia showed its own attacking promise, with a run from Cam Clark giving Australia some strong territory,but they couldn’t convert.

 

A Jerry Tuwai try, coupled with a late penalty, gave the Australians a 22-point gap to close in the back end of the match.

 

Veteran James Stannard set the tone for Australia as the second half started with the first try of the period, before a cover tackle from Ed Jenkins stopped Amenoni Nasilasila just short of the line.

 

Fiji hit back through Osea Kolinisau, to seal the result for the Fijians with just over two minutes left, before Kitione Taliga gave them one last score to celebrate

 

The Aussies showed strong character after a challenging tournament, in which they lost both Lewis Holland and Nick Cummins on day two.

 

Fiji will meet New Zealand in the Hong Kong Cup final.

 

FIJI 34

Tries: Kunatani, Veremalua, Tuwai Kolinisau, Taliga

Cons: Kolinisau 2, Nasilasila

Pens: Ravouvou

 

AUSTRALIA 5

Try: Stannard

 

Australia will play South Africa in the third-place playoff at 8:30pm AEST, LIVE on FOXSPORTS.

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