Aussie men finish fourth in Hong Kong

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia has finished fourth at the Hong Kong Sevens after an agonising 14-12 loss to South Africa in the third place playoff.

After conceding the first two tries of the match, the Aussies brought the deficit back to just two points and force a handful of late South African errors to give James Stannard a penalty goal shot for the win.

Stannard’s shot drifted just right, leaving the margin at two points and a gallant Australian comeback just short.

Cecil Afrika clinched the first try of the match in the third minute and Australia’s pain was doubled by a yellow card to James Stannard in the lead up.

Stannard was sent to the bin after a high tackle on a Blitzbok opponent and South Africa capitalised on their extra personnel with Siviwe Soyizwapi scoring a runaway try.

In-form forward Sam Myers hit back for Australia just shy of half-time  to narrow the margin to seven points, as the Aussies kept themselves in the game.

Boyd Killingworth finished off a strong attacking play to kick off the second half, slipping down the right edge to bring Australia just two points away from the Blitzboks.

Youngster John Porch played a decisive role in the final stages, forcing a South African Knock on and then winning a penalty for Australia at opposite ends of the field, by virtue of his tireless chasing.

The teen had a half chance to score after the hooter, but his kick down the left edge went long.

It mattered little as the play was brought back for an Australian penalty, leading to Stannard’s final shot.

While they couldn’t keep up their recent run of top-three finishes, the Aussie Men made their fourth consecutive Cup semi-final for the first time in 15 years in Hong Kong.

The Men’s World Series will move on to Singapore next week, the third-last of the 2015-16 tour.

Australia currently sits fourth in the World Series standings, unlikely to shift in the final legs of the series.

AUSTRALIA 12

Tries: Myers, Killingworth Cons: Stannard

SOUTH AFRICA 14

Tries: Afrika, Soyizwapi

Cons: Du Preez 2

 

 

 

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