Friend wants more from players after loss to Fiji

AAP
by AAP

Australian Sevens coach Andy Friend has challenged his players to prove they're worthy of Olympic selection after a 26-0 humbling by Fiji.

Fiji's win at Twickenham on Saturday (Sunday morning AEST) wrapped up back-to-back World Series titles for the Pacific Islanders, and ended any chance Australia had of winning this weekend's London tournament.

Two tries in each half tore the Aussies to shreds, leaving them third in Pool B behind home side England and the rampant Fijians.

It followed a 10-7 last minute loss to England, which came after Australia accounted for Wales 22-10 in the opening match.

Jarryd Hayne only featured from the bench for the last minute of the game.

"These boys have to stand up," Friend said.

"That's why they're here, they're here to put their hand up for Rio and show me whether they're good enough and at the moment I'd have to say that performance was disappointing.

With Fiji's win over Australia they have claimed back-to-back World Series titles. Photo: Getty Images

"We knew they were playing for the series, we knew they were going to bring their A game out.

"Had we scored in that opening two minute stanza it would've been a different game but we weren't good enough to do that, we let them get on a roll and that's the end of it doing that against Fiji."

Despite the lopsided scoreline against Fiji, things could have been very different for Australia.

They pressed hard in the opening exchanges and almost scored midway through the first half before coughing up possession on the Fiji goal line.

On the same play the world champions ran the length of the field to open the scoring through Samisoni Viriviri, and never looked back.

"Sevens is a game that can turn on a dime," stand-in Aussie captain Pat McCutcheon said.

"Sevens is an interesting game like that - unlucky bounce of the ball and you can call it what you want.

"As a team we need to control the ball and maintain that possession."

Australia now goes into the quarter-finals of the Bowl series to be played on Sunday.

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