Aussies through to London quarters

London 7s
by Jill Scanlon

Australia has qualified for the Cup quarter finals, winning two of its three pool games on day one of the HSBC World Series London Sevens tournament.

In the two victories, the Aussies scored a combined 85 points with just one unconverted try posted against it.

Men’s Head coach Andy Friend felt it was one of the best performances the team had put in so far.

“It was probably some of the most clinical rugby we've played. The boys started really well against Samoa, we had our opportunities against England and it was a game that we probably could have and should have won and then to put 50 points on Spain at the end topped off what was a very good day," he said.

The defeat of Spain 50-0 was a display of talent and determination indicating a growing confidence within the young squad.

At the half-time break, commentators labelled it the ‘Faultless 40’ as that was the score when play paused.

Australia had blind-sided Spain with six tries and five conversions that left little room for the opposition to launch any form of attack.

Spain tightened up its defence in the second half and slowed down Australia's momentum, but the damage had been done.

Tom Kingston scored a double for the match with tries to Simon Kennewell, John Porch, Tim Anstee and Nick Malouf, who also ran in two tries.

James Stannard added to his tally making it four tries for the day and was definitely being hailed as a hero and the catalyst of the day’s impressive team performance.

Stannard, who racked up his 1000th World Series point during the day’s play, told Andy Friend he would give it all up for the Cup win.

"He's a special player but what I like even more is that he’s all about the team, it's not about him at all and he's an inspiration for these young lads," said Friend.

It was a valuable way to end the day with a quarter-final berth against the USA awaiting the Aussies on Sunday at 7.58pm AEST.

"When USA have the football, they are very dangerous. Our job tomorrow is to get hold of the footy and not give it to them. We did that in Hong Kong when we last beat them but it was a different story when we played them in Singapore and they put about 40 points on us,” said Friend.

 

Unbelievable finish! Our #Aussie7s showed great pace, strength and skill on day one here at #London7s.

A post shared by Aussie7s (@aussie7s) on


Other Results                                                                                                                  

England and New Zealand were the only teams to go undefeated on the first day, reflecting the unpredictability of the competition and the development of all the teams involved.

The biggest shock on the first day of competition in London has been the failure of Fiji to progress through the pool stage to the quarter finals, having lost two of its three pool games.

Losing the opening game of the day by three points to Canada on the last play of the day put the islanders under some pressure and even though they saw off Japan with ease in a 61-5 drubbing, the final game against the Kiwis was not as easy and the 27-21 final score put a spot in the top eight out of reach.

With England successfully progressing as one of the top eight teams, the battle for second place has not emerged and they will be declared the official runners-up to South Africa in the 2016/2-17 World Series.


The quarter finalists for Day Two are USA, South Africa, Argentina, Scotland, New Zealand, Canada, England and Australia.

The Cup Quarter Finals matches will be as follows:


LIVE coverage on Fox Sports Ch505 begins at 6.15pm – 3.45am AEST.

 

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