Sydney Sevens Day Two - As It Happened

by Staff Writer

Day two is the biggest Sydney Sevens day of all, with the women's finals and men's pool games. Stay tuned to rugby.com.au as all the action unfolds, and flick on Fox Sports 1 501.

9:38pm - Friend feeling good about Aussie prospects

 The sun sets over Day Two of the Sydney Sevens. Photo: Getty Images

Aussie Men's coach Andy Friend is simply happy to be in the Quarter Finals after his team missed that chance in its last two tournaments.

A 2-1 record has granted the Men's side a berth in the Quarter Finals against Wales, rather than Fiji, whose loss to the Welsh was one of the upsets of the tournament so far.

"You saw what Wales did to Fiji today so you never know," he said.

"The pleasing thing for us is that we played them last week and we had a good win against them in Wellington but every tournament is different and every game is different so they will be tough tomorrow."

The team has bounced back from a tough loss to New Zealand in their first pool match this morning, belting Scotland 43-14 before taking care of business with a 26-7 win against PNG.

"We talked after the first game about our work rate off the ball - we pride ourselves on being unrelenting and we lost that battle in the first game," Friend said.

"To me, that was everything, we got in front of the game and I thought our defense worked really well.

"We shut them out (in the second half) which was really pleasing."

Charlie Taylor streaks away from a pair of PNG defenders. Photo: Getty Images 

With tournament favourites Fiji and South Africa both being the subject of upsets today, Friend is confident his team has what it takes to go all the way in front of a sellout Sydney crowd tomorrow.

"For me, it's three games and we can win the Cup - anything can happen as we have seen today so it's important that we take each game," Friend said.

"I only saw bits and pieces of that but I thought they (Wales) were very physical, I thought they were strong up the middle of the park and I thought they carried strong and with intent into their breakdown - they dominated in that area so we know we are going up against tough opposition."

9:13pm - Men's Pool C - Full time - SCORE

New Zealand have topped Pool C and kept their perfect record clean after a hard fought win over Scotland in the final match on Day Two of the Sydney Sevens. As a result, the Kiwis will now face Fiji in a blockbuster Quarter Final tomorrow, while Australia will face Wales. The Kiwis were tested by a Scotland side left licking their wounds after being hammered by Australia but proved too classy in the end.

8:53pm - Men's Pool C - Full time - Australia 26 - PNG 7

Australia has secured a Cup Quarter Final berth with a comfortable win over a flamboyant PNG side. James Stannard extended the Australian lead with just one minute gone in the first term - set up by another strong run by Hutchinson. Then, after holding out a pair of impressive PNG attacking movements, Simon Kennewell crossed for five more points with 30 seconds to play. The Australians will now face either Fiji or Wales in a Quarter Final tomorrow, depending on whether the Scots can knock off New Zealand.

Henry Hutchison is in Sevens for the long haul. Photo: Getty Images

8:43pm - Men's Pool C - Half time - Australia 14 - PNG 7

The match kicked off in the worst possible way for the Men's side, as Emmanuel Guise picked off a wayward pass and streamed away to score the first points of the match. The Australians hit back, though, first through Henry Hutchinson and then through Charlie Taylor - the pair both earning rewards for strong, driving runs.

8:30pm - Men's Pool A - Full time - England 21 - South Africa 15

England have pulled off a spectacular second half comeback to beat tournament favourites South Africa and finish top of Pool A. The South Africans looked all but home at the top of the Pool after Justin Geduld scored the Blitzboks' third try of the match when the Brits put together two tries - from Dan Norton and James Rodwell - to snatch victory. While both teams will qualify for the Cup Quarter Finals, England now slips to second and will face Argentina.

8:10pm - Men's Pool A - Full time - Kenya 17 - Japan 12

Kenya have won their first game of the Sydney 7s with a last minute win over Japan. The African nation scored in front of their enormous group of supporters to clinch the match, leaving the Japanese without a win for the tournament.

7:41pm - Men's Pool B - Full time - Fiji 31 - France 7

Fiji have booked their Sydney 7s Quarter Final ticket after a 31-7 demolition of France in their final pool match. The crowd favourites were at their sparkling best and never threatened by the French, who will now miss the Cup Quarter Finals. Fiji and Wales will advance from Pool B.

7:29pm - Men's Pool B - Full time - Samoa 7 - Wales 7

It's another draw in men's competition. It was a grind from the teams through the 14 minutes. Wales sits on top of Pool C and Fiji second, with a clash against France to come.

7:15pm -Sydney just the start for Canada


Fresh off winning the inaugural Sydney 7s, Canada skipper Ghislaine Landry is confident the team will now go on to bigger and better things in 2017.

Landry said the squad had learnt the importance of all 12 players applying themselves 100 per cent of the time in the years prior.

"Over the last couple of years we know that it takes 12 people to win a tournament," she said.

"The consistency of that hasn't been there every tournament but today it was and yesterday it was - I'm just super proud of all the girls.

"Sevens tournaments can go any way at any point so it was a tough hit and a hard to pill to swallow when we lost (to New Zealand) last night but quarter finals are all that matters so we took it, had a look at the video and built on that pretty well."

The return of experienced ball winner Jen Kish was a major boost for the team, who edged their North America counterparts USA 21-17 in the Cup Final.

"It's been huge - you can't coach and you can't teach a lot of her skill set to have her in the team we know she is going to win ball and we know she is going to get turnovers at the breakdown from her - a lot of girls feed off that energy so it is great to have her back."

7:09pm - Always time for the fans

They talk often about creating a legacy and the women's Aussie Sevens made good on their compassion for the fans, making their way around the ground to chat to supporters.


7:03pm - Men's Pool D - Canada 17 - Argentina 17

It was nearly a miraculous victory for Canada in their final pool match of the day, with a last-gasp try drawing scores level on the hooter, but they couldn't convert that last score to best Argentina. That means they will miss the quarter-finals, with Argentina and USA progressing to the finals.

6:42pm - Men's Pool D - USA 14 - Russia 17

It was a tight one between USA and Russia but the latter took the edge to topple the current pool leaders. It probably won't be enough to qualify them for the quarter-finals but it's another upset on a topsy turvy kind of day.

6:20pm - Williams gives frank assessment of Sydney Sevens


Australian co-captain Sharni Williams admits the Women's Sevens side did not show up with the right mindset when it counted most.

Speaking to media after the disappointing 4th placed finish, Williams said the team could play "ten times better than that".

"We just really didn't show up for the second day," - 

"I guess all that preparation that had gone into it but we didn't play to our potential -we can play ten times better than that but we didn't show that this weekend.

"It's pretty tough in front of our family and friends but we will cop that on the chin, own that, go back and re-group."

Sharni Williams leaps for the ball. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyThe pressure on the host nation appeared to have told, as they pushed too many passes that went to ground in the third place playoff against New Zealand.

"I think we handled it all pretty well but those one percenters - those passes are usually pretty crisp but we can't win games without phases and we couldn't even get a phase together," Williams said.

"When you're out there training there are other people out there training ten times harder than you.

"You've got to think, okay, have I given everything I possibly can today to better myself for that World Series?" - Sharni Williams

Williams said the Canada-USA final was testament to the rise in standard of Women's Sevens since the Olympics.

"People have changed their squads since the Olympics and you can see now that we have Canada and USA in the final.

"It's very close, it's closing in on that gap - it's not just Australia and New Zealand anymore - Russia is in there as well so it's really exciting for women's sport and women's rugby."

6:05pm - Canada claims the Cup

Canada took out the Cup competition. Canada have reigned supreme in the inaugural Sydney 7s, finishing their tournament with a 21-17 win over the USA. A Naya Tapper hat-trick kept the Eagles in the game time and time again but there wasn’t enough time after Bianca Farella snuck the match sealer in just shy of the dead ball line. That was the first Cup final without either Australia and New Zealand involved since 2013. Last time England beat the USA. This time it was their northern neighbours.

5:55pm Brasil claim silverware

5:40pm - Women's bronze medal playoff - Australia 0 - New Zealand 19

Michaela Blyde had a double for New Zealand. Photo: Getty ImagesThe wheels have well and truly fallen off the Aussie Sevens wagon, with a scoreless finish to their Sydney campaign and a fourth place. The pressure that plagued them all weekend was off but they just never found an answer to the Black Ferns. t took nearly the entire first half before either side managed a score, before New Zealand’s Michaela Blyde streaked away in the final 10 seconds, with Ellia Green and Charlotte Caslick in tow, to give the Black Ferns the lead at the break. A yellow card to Kiwi captain Sarah Goss put them down a player but that didn’t stop Portia Woodman from adding a second Black Ferns try in the ninth minute and Blyde had the third and final to seal the result. 

ICYMI: Tim Walsh admits pressure 'got to' his side in semi-final loss.

5:24pm - No time for Aussie celebrations

Australia's men had a big win over Scotland but there was no time to savour it, straight into recovery.


5:17pm - Women's 5th place playoff - Full time - Fiji 31 - France 12

Fiji have romped home to a convincing win in the 5th place playoff. There was never any doubt about the win, as the team jumped out to 14-0 lead in the first two minutes and never looked back. Next up, the Aussie Women's side in the 3rd place playoff against New Zealand.

5:12pm - Anstee goes back to the future with hat trick

Tim Anstee looks to bump a Kiwi defender. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

 

Tim Anstee estimates U6s was the last level of rugby where he scored a hat-trick, before making a statement on Allianz Stadium with three in four minutes against Scotland, in a 43-14 win.

 

With that start, the 19-year-old catapulted up the Sevens pecking order and delivered on a mandate to please his home crowd.

 

“We wanted to put a show on for the crowd out there and I think the boys did,” he said.

 

“It's pretty special playing in front of a big home crowd like that.  We don't get the opportunity too often.

 

“We've got a lot of new boys in this team so a lot haven't played in front of a crowd like that. It was special.”

 


The Parramatta Two Blue junior and Eastwood colts player has come a long way since joining the Sevens program and coach Andy Friend said his performance would inspire his teammates, in one of Australia’s youngest outfits ever.

 

“It's massive for him and it's massive for the other boys because they all say, ‘Tim Anstee was playing second grade colts last year and here he is now on Allianz Stadium scoring a hat-trick of tries in the World Series’,” he said.

 

“So everyone goes, if Tim Anstee can do it, I can do it.”

 

Sam Myers had his best game of the past fortnight against Scotland as well, picking up two tries, and Friend said a weight had been lifted off his new skipper’s hulking shoulders.

 

“Probably last week Sammy and Chucky (James Stannard) and Alex Gibbon, probably our three more experienced players in the opening two games weren't great and it's probably because they were thinking about the other fellas and the message to those three this week was just do what you've got to do boys and they'll follow,” he said.

 

And Sammy's doing that now. He's got a really good turning speed and when he believes in himself and puts that foot down, he's hard to stop.”

 

Australia take on PNG in their final pool match at 8:35pm AEDT.

 

5:00pm - Women's 7th place playoff - Russia 17 - Ireland 12

Russia have capped off an impressive tournament with an overtime victory over Ireland in the 7th place playoff. The Russians have shown they have what it takes to compete with the very best throughout the tournament and this match was no different, as they battled hard to win the match after regulation. Fijiana is taking on France for 5th place next.

4:25pm - Men's Pool C - Full time - Australia 43 - Scotland 14

Australia's Mens Sevens side have notched their first win of the Sydney 7s with a demolition of Scotland. The Aussies extended their already impressive half time lead when Myers crossed on the left hand wing before Scotland hit back with a try of their own. Mick Adams and Liam McNamara also crossed for the home side, who will take great confidence from the win after a tough loss to New Zealand this morning.

Tim Anstee palms a New Zealand defender at the Sydney 7s. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley 

4:07pm - Men's Pool C - Half time - Australia 24 - Scotland 7

Australia got off to the perfect start as Henry Hutchinson won a pilfer penalty 20 metres out from the Scotland line in the opening minute. The Aussies capitalised on the left wing, as Tim Anstee crossed for his first try of the afternoon. It was a repeat dose just one minute later, when Anstee crossed again out wide after a swift passing movement. The Anstee show continued soon after when the Scots fumbled in their own 22 and he crossed for his third in three minutes. The Scots had barely blinked and they were down 19-0, having barely crossed halfway with two minutes to play in the first term. When they did, they created space on the right wing for James Fleming to scoot around Sam Myers, narrowing the margin to 12. But the Aussies hit straight back - on the same left wing - Myers the beneficiary of some nice passing by the hosts. Stannard missed the conversion, leaving the score at 24-7 heading into the break.

Mick Adams touches down for one of Australia's seven tries against Scotland. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

3:55pm - Men's Pool C - Full time - New Zealand 31 - PNG 7

New Zealand have been tested by an exuberant Papua New Guinea side but have come away with a solid 31-7 win in their second pool match. After edging the host nation in their opening match, the Kiwis were too much for the PNG men to handle out wide. The five try to one display keeps the Kiwis on top of Pool C. They will round out their pool matches against Scotland at 8:57pm AEDT.

3:35pm - Men's Pool A - Full time - South Africa 14 - Kenya 7

The Blitzboks have staved off a valiant Kenyan outfit to take a 2-0 record into their blockbuster clash with England tonight. The Blitzboks were kept scoreless in the first half and it took a dashing run by Seabelo Senatla for the South Africans to get on the scoreboard. Some fantastic team play saw Senatla cross again, his fifth of the day, to secure the win for the South Africans. Next up, New Zealand takes on PNG.

3:31pm - See what coach Tim Walsh and captain Shannon Parry had to say about the Aussie Women's Sevens devastating Cup semi loss



3:18pm - Lewi Holland on life on the sidelines and the Aussie Men's Sevens hopes after their opening match loss


3:14pm - Men's Pool A - Full time - England 26 - Japan 0

England have prepared for their blockbuster clash against South Africa tonight with a comfortable 26-0 win over Japan. The Brits were never threatened by the Japanese side, who are yet to score a point today having been flogged by both South Africa and England. The Pool A blockbuster is set to light up Allianz Stadium at 8:13pm AEDT.

2:45pm – Women's Cup Semi Final - Full-time Australia 7 – Canada 12

Australia will take on New Zealand in its final Sydney 7s game, but it will be third place, not first up for grabs.

Uncharacteristic errors crept into Australia’s game in the second half, with even the usually cool Emilee Cherry throwing a wayward ball. An opportune turnover created an attacking chance but it didn’t last long, with Canada putting pressure on the home side. A Canada forward pass and a scrum collapse put Australia on the front foot but their own errors negated that. Australia was forced into defence in the final stages, unable to notch a score back.  Australia will take on the Black Ferns in the bronze match at 5:15 pm AEDT. Canada will take on USA in the Cup final at 5:45pm AEDT.

 

Well deserved support for women's @Aussie7s at Sydney7s. @sharni2388 Standing ovation for the Olympic champs. #GoAussies #Sydney7s pic.twitter.com/yM15Tj2KvF

 

 

 

 

2:35pm – Women’s Cup Semi Final – Half time - Australia 7 – Canada 12

It was a tense start for the Aussies, as they threw the ball around but some patient passing opened up an opportunity for Ellia Green’s fifth try of the tournament in the first minute.  Charlotte Caslick brought Ghislaine Landry down just short of the line but Canada’s Jen Kish made their second attempt count and brought the margin to two points. Canada held court in the latter stages of the first half but Australia’s defence held strong until Brittany Benn escaped the Aussie clutches, finishing off a superb run by Kayla Moleschi.

2:25pm - Full-time – Women's Cup Semi Final New Zealand 12 – USA 19

New Zealand will not play for the Cup at Sydney after losing to USA. It took four minutes for any kind of score in the gritty cup semi between New Zealand and the USA. A first-half double for skipper Leyla Alev Kelter set up 12-0 lead for the Americans. Their momentum continued after half-time, with a try to Naya Tapper - her third of day two. It took until the 13th minute for New Zealand's Kat Whataka-Simpkin to come up with an answer to the USA's attack and a yellow card for Portia Woodman looked like sealing their fate. Tyla Nathan-Wong added a twist eluding her opponents with a last-gasp try but it wasn't enough. New Zealand will face the loser of Australia vs Canada at 5:15pm AEDT.



 

In other women's results, Fijiana will play off for fifth after flogging Russia 33-19.

2:13pm - Before the Aussie Women's Sevens take to Allianz Stadium for their Semi Final, check out some of the best shots from the day so far!

The Aussie fans packed out Kippax Oval. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

Charlotte Caslick weaves her way through Fijiana’s defence. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

Emilee Cherry was a standout for Australia in the quarter-final. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

Sam Myers takes off against New Zealand. Photo: Rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

Shannon Parry caught up by Fiji. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

James Stannard palms off a Kiwi in their Sydney opener. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

2:01pm - Full time - Men's Pool B - Wales 28 - Fiji 15

Wales have pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament so far with a spectacular win over crowd favourites Fiji. The Welsh burst out of the gates with an opening minute try to Morgan Williams and never looked back. The first Women's Sevens Cup Semi Final, between New Zealand and USA, is up now!

1:46pm - Hear from our Aussie Men's side in the moments after their loss to New Zealand


1.38pm - Full time - Men’s Pool B - France 17 - Samoa 14

France have snatched their first win of the tournament with a last second try to Jeremy Aicardi. The French trailed Samoa 14-10 but a 90 metre movement upfield involving several phases clinched the match for the French. Crowd favourites Fiji up next against Wales.

1:17pm - Full time - Men's Pool D - USA 31 - Canada 19 

USA have cruised to a 31-19 win, keeping their perfect Sydney 7s record intact. Having already defeated Argentina in the opening match on Day 2 of the tournament, the ever-improving outfit were in complete control throughout the match and will now face Russia this afternoon. 

1:06pm - Canada happy to cop underdog tag

Canada are happy to play underdog to the superstar Australian Sevens side in their Sydney Cup semi-final clash, with star Jen Kish issuing a warning to their semi-final. 

 

Kish, who captained Canada to a Cup final win over the Aussies in France last year, said their opponents deserved the hype but they could have the spotlight.

 

“There's a lot of hype around them and there should be,” he said.

 

“They really grew the sport of rugby for women in Australia and that's what I want to see as rugby player, female rugby player, seeing women's rugby grow.

 

“So, I'm glad that the Aussie people are supporting their teams and they're coming out and it's nice to see (Charlotte) Caslick on the front of a poster for once.

 

“I think it's well-deserved and I wish them all the best in this tournament but I really hope we come out on top.”

 

Canada had a mixed opening day, with wins over France and Spain before a 31-10 loss to New Zealand relegated them to second spot in Pool A, but they showed their best performance of the tournament in a 26-5 quarter-final win over Russia.

 

Kish said there was one obvious weakness in the Australian side that they would be targetting some semi-final time.

 

“ We need to attack them on the weak shoulder and they're not the strongest tacklers, in my opinion, you have a few of them that are, (but we’ll) certainly stay away from them and attack their weaknesses,” she said.

 

“At any given day, anyone can take it.

 

“They just so happen to have more Ws in their column than ours but we're the underdogs and I think when we come in as the underdogs, we perform.”

 

Australia takes on Canada for a spot in the Cup final at 2:26pm AEDT.

 

12:55pm - Full time - Men's Pool D - Argentina 19 - Russia 14

Argentina have kept their finals hopes alive after securing a last gasp win over Russia in their second pool match. After a narrow loss to USA this morning, the Argentinians remain in the hunt for a Cup quarter final berth after the 19-14 win.

12:36pm - Hutchinson hurting after opening match loss

Australia needs to hang on to the ball if it’s going to claw its way back into the Sydney Cup quarter-final contention, Henry Hutchison says.


 

The home side went down to New Zealand in their opener, 26-14, after clawing their way back from 14-0 down to draw even at the break, but Hutchison admitted the result left them scrambling.

 

“Losing that first game just puts you on the back foot for the rest of the tournament, we were disappointing...and we only have ourselves to blame,” he said.

 

After that gutsy first half, New Zealand took control in the second and Hutchison said they simply needed to give themselves a chance to attack, in their remaining matchups against Scotland and the recently promoted PNG.

 

“We just need to keep ball security, keep the ball because when we had the ball we were good, we just didn't have the ball enough, we didn't treasure it,” he said.

 

In a team stacked full of debutants, Hutchison said experience was the only thing they could glean from the defeat.

 

“It's hard to take a lot out of a loss,” he said.

 

“It takes a good footballer to learn off losing games but I think we'll take gelling as a team, a few debutants got on and that's going to give them some experience and they've had a little taste of professional football now and hopefully that will help them for the next game.”

 

12:26pm - Full time - Men's Pool C - Scotland 26 - PNG 12

Scotland have avoided a major scare after securing a 26-12 win over PNG. The Papua New Guinea side put together some flashy attacking moves but could not hold out the Scots on the defensive end, falling two tries short.

12:02pm - Full time - Men's Pool C - New Zealand 26 - Australia 14

The Men's Aussie Sevens side has fallen short against New Zealand in what was a thrilling contest. After going into the break on level terms at 14-all, Sherwin Stowers put the Kiwis back in front with a superb intercept try just two minutes into the second term. With 2:30 remaining on the clock, Sione Molia crossed for the visitors after a 3-on-1 break down the right hand sideline - giving the visitors an unassailable 26-14 lead. The Aussies will have a chance to notch their first win of the tournament when they take on Scotland at 4pm.

Sam Myers in action for the Aussie Men's Sevens against New Zealand.

11:52am – Women’s Challenge trophy semi-final full-time England 29 – PNG 17

England missed out on the Cup quarter-finals for the first time in World Series history after a tumultuous day one, but they were emphatic in victory against a tough PNG outfit.

11:50am - Half time - Men's Pool C - Australia 14 - New Zealand 14

Game on! Australia dominated early possession and territory but the Kiwis were the first to capitalise on some sloppy defensive work. Tries to Koroi and Mikkelson opened up a 14-0 lead for the visitors. Australia hit back through a penalty try with 30 seconds to play in the first term after the Kiwis failed to retreat to their goal line when penalised, stopping Sam Myers from crossing for a five pointer. Then, with the siren having sounded, Henry Hutchinson crossed to level things up. We have a ball game!

Meanwhile... It appears as though President Trump has graced us with his presence.


11.38am - Full time - Men's Pool C - South Africa 32 - Japan 0

 

South Africa has blitzed Japan in their opening pool match. The Blitzboks were never in any danger as they cruised to a 32-0 win. Seabelo Senatla starred for the South Africans with an opening half brace.

11:36am - Women's Cup semi finals

2:04pm - New Zealand vs USA

2:26pm - Australia vs Canada

11:35am - Fiji a tune up for crunch semis - Dalton


Speaking before the last quarter-final, Dalton said the Fijian test, first in the pools and then in their Cup quarter-final, had given them the perfect lead-in to the final four match ups.

“Coming up against Fiji it's always going to be pretty tough, we know that they come out fighting, they play a very continuous game which is pretty exhausting in this heat but I think we did a better job,” she said.

“I think Fiji made sure that we've got to make effective tackles against them because if you leave them standing up, they can just offload for days.”

The Aussies played in front of a packed out Kippax Oval, a venue switch about which there has been much discussion, but Dalton said the crowd spurred them on.

“I guess it's nice having less seats so it kind of looks full so that's always good but having the crowd down the end, they're always so loud the family and friends so it definitely motivates us to go a little bit harder.”

Dalton said there were no illusions about the work left in front of them, with Canada and a possible New Zealand match up in the Cup Final.

“I think we've got improvement left,” she said.

“I don't think we've reached our peak yet. Playing in a different environment in sydney, which has been awesome but we've still got some things we've got to work on.”

11:17am - Full time - England 19 - Kenya 12

 

Oliver Lindsay-Hague and Richard De Carpentier have sparked a miraculous England comeback win. A pair of Lindsay-Hague runs set up both of De Carpentier’s tries, after the Brits trailed 12-0 with just three minutes to play. Ruaridh McConnochie crossed for the winner against a valiant Kenyan side.

11:14am -Women's QF - Canada 12 - Russia 0

Canada is in the box seat to face Australia in this afternoon's semis after two unanswered first half tries against the day one bolters, Russia. All set for the second half now.

11:02am - Williams with the match-winner

The Aussie Sevens are through to the Cup semi-finals after Sharni Williams notched the matchwinner and the Aussies take the 17-5 win. They'll face Russia or Canada at 2:26pm. We reckon this ex-teacher of Sharni's wouldn't be the only one 'fan girling' after that one.


10:57am - Women's QF -Tit for tat in second half

Charlotte Caslick adds to Australia's tally and they're out to a 10-0 lead at Kippax Oval. It took less than two minutes for the Aussies to notch that second try once the half kicked off and they've put themselves in the box seat for a Cup semi-final. They'll face the winner of Russia and Canada. But just like that, Rusila Nagasau returns the favour for Fiji! Oh wait, ANOTHER twist - she's been held up and Aussies maintain their lead. This has been a brutal contest so far. A scrum and Fiji scores! Australia 10-5.

10:56am -  Men's Pool B- Full time - Fiji 40 - Samoa 0

Fiji have trounced Samoa in their opening pool game. It was an ominous sign for the other Sydney 7s Cup contenders as the Olympic Gold Medallists played at a level perhaps only they are capable of. Joel Lutumailagi was the star of the show, showing dazzling footwork to score the first two tries of the match.

10:53am - Women's QF - Half-time Australia 5 - Fiji 0

Ellia Green's try remained the only one of the half in a slippery matchup on a damp Kippax Oval. Rain has cleared up but there's still a lot of humidity so it's still likely to be a bit of a slog in the second half. Australia's defence has been tested and the Fijians haven't the reigning World champions have things their own way. Going to be a huge second half.

10:46am - Women's QF - Aussies strike first! 

 

Ellia Green is set to return in Sydney. Photo: Getty ImagesThe Fijian defence held strong early and created an attacking opportunity for themselves. The Fijians try to crack the Aussies but the home side wins a turnover and ELLIA GREEN SPRINTS DOWN  THE LEFT EDGE! They nab the first try and lead 5-0.

10:42 am - Women's QF Full-time - USA 17 - Ireland 5

A double for Naya Tapper has helped the USA to a 17-5 win over Ireland in the Cup quarter-finals. Tapper opened the scoring in the first half and sealed the game with a minute left in the match. The Eagles will take on the Black Ferns at 2:04pm AEDT back on the main stage.

10:36am - Full time - Wales 14 - France 12

Thriller! Wales score as the siren sounds to claim a last gasp victory over France in their first pool match of the tournament. Fiji is taking on France on Allianz now.

10:27am - Women's QF - Ireland 5 - USA 5

Naya Tapper scored the first try of the opening half and it came in the first minute for the Americans, as they compete with England for a shot at a semi-final berth against the Black Ferns. It's been an arm wrestle since then, with neither side able to claim the dominance. Enter Amee Leigh Murphy Crowe, who finished off the final play with a crucial try for Ireland.

 

10:19am - Same same but different

There'll be plenty of entertainment in Sydney today with a packed house expected on day two. But not everyone eye-catching is being paid....

There will be plenty of professional entertainers off the field today. Photo: Rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

Everyone will be going colourful. Photo: rugby.com.au/Stu Walmsley

Sam Myers will play in Sydney. Photo: Getty Images

10:18am Women's QF full-time - New Zealand 24 - France 5

Niall Williams has the Black Ferns' third and they're looking very comfortable right now, with less than three minutes to go in the first Cup QF. Another five-pointer, through Michaela Blyde, puts them further out in front but France are trying to hang on after the full-time kookaburra.

10:11am - Portia Woodman. Freak

Portia Woodman has stretched the Black Ferns' lead in the eighth minute, slipping through the French defenders to score her side's second try. She's one of the stars of the Sevens circuit and that showed why.

10:04am - Women's QF half-time New Zealand 7 - France 5

Katarina Whata-Simpkins replies for New Zealand and they've hit the front at Kippax! This is shaping up to be as close as their first game last night. Bit of rain about, but unfortunately it's not providing much relief from the oppressive humidity that Sydney has offered up today. Wouldn't want to be anywhere else, though.

Over on Allianz, Canada leads the men's pool match 12-7 at the break, in a nail biter against Russia.

10:02am - Women's QF - New Zealand 0 France 5

Rose Thomas has scored first for France and they have an early lead over New Zealand. The French pushed the Kiwis all the way last night, in one of the tightest pool matches of the day. Could they put a stop to the Kwis' Sydney run? 

9:58am - The things parents do for their kids

 

First signature of the #sydney7s @emmatonegato (daughters were too awestruck to ask themselves)

A photo posted by Jon Page (@bitethebook) on

 

9:52am - Full-time - USA 22 - Argentina 19

The men's competition is underway and the USA were the ones to clinch the first win, beating out Argentina by three points. Canada vs Russia up next on Allianz.

8:54am - Welcome to day two

One day down, two to go. Can the Aussie women take out the title? Can they overcome Fiji in thier quarter-final, after a brutal final pool game yesterday afternoon? These questions will begin to be answered at 10:44am AEDT, when the two rivals face off. The Australian men will have their first hitout, against New Zealand at 11:42am AEDT kicking off a bumper day of men's action as well.

If you missed the action yesterday, check out our day one wrap here.

There were plenty of highlights in the action, including this ripper try from Charlotte Caslick.


Andy Friend is looking forward to kicking things off today, soaking in the Sydney harbour this morning.

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