Aussies one pass from Bronze as Canada makes history

by Jill Scanlon

Australia has finished fourth at the HSBC World Sevens Series event in Singapore going down to England 14-12 in the Bronze medal match - on a day which saw Canada win its first ever Cup Final after 140 events.

The Aussies fought hard to the end coming within one pass of a post-siren try to snatch the win – but a knock on ended the game.

Australia started with just a three-man bench as skipper Tom Lucas joined the injury list in the wake of the semi-final loss to the USA.

England had the early possession and attack with Callum Sirker scoring the opening try.

Australia struck back through Liam McNamara and Henry Hutchison going to the break with a 12-7 lead.

England scored the only try of the second half through Harry Glover as then Aussies suffered another injury with John Porch having to leave the field with four minutes remaining.

Exhaustion was evident for both teams in the end but Australia's intensity in defence was high.

The Aussies made a late charge towards the try line but an opportunity to pass out wide went begging when the ball was lost forward in the tackle contest and the final whistle blew.

Australia has had another weekend of strong performances from its young squad, particularly from Simon Kennewell.


But the workload of a two week tournament campaign took its toll in the home stretch on the final day.

Coach Andy Friend admits while there were some opportunities lost in the day two performances, he has been very proud of his charges overall.

“I thought we played some really good rugby on day one and the win over South Africa in the quarter final showed a lot of character and a lot of belief,” he said.

“We went into the semi-final game full of confidence but came up against a very good USA team who blew us off the park and that was disappointing.

“The last game against England, we had two tries a piece, had our chances but couldn’t finish it. But as a young squad they’re doing some good things and I am proud of them.”


Aside from the title win to Canada, the notable results of the day have been that of South Africa and Fiji both of which have finished sxith and seventh respectively.

FINALS

Trophy final - Wales defeated Scotland 24-12

Wales has defeated Scotland to win the Challenge Trophy with a three try to nil second half.

Scotland lead 12-5 at the break, but Wales fought back outrunning the Scots and dominating possessions which lead to the try line.


 

Bronze Medal - England defeated Australia 14-12

In what was an even match separated by just a conversion, Australia again showed it can challenge the top four teams and despite the loss in this final match the contest was tight and fought with intensity to the end. 

Cup Final - Canada defeated USA 26-19

Canada put three tries on the board before the USA got a look in. But when they did, they replied accordingly with two quick tries of their own to see just a seven point margin at half-time, 19-12.

When Perry Baker did what he does so well early in the second half the score was tied.

Lucas Hammond struck between the posts for Canada to secure the historic victory and the USA had to settle for the silver medal.

All teams will now have four weeks to recover and regroup before the penultimate tournament in Paris on 13-14 May.

Cup Semi Finals

Earlier Australia had been stung by a dominant USA losing 40-7 in their semi-final.

The Aussies scored the opening try of the game through a chip and chase by John Porch showing the young team’s intent.

But that approach quickly unravelled as the USA picked up the pace and dominated possession off the restarts through the strength of Danny Barrett.

At one stage the USA kept the ball from the Aussies for close to four minutes of the first half and had completed 47 passes to the Australians 1.

As you would expect tries flowed one way as Perry Baker and Stephen Tomasin scored doubles, while Danny Barrett and Martin Iosefo also chimed in on the scoreboard.

The USA was persistent in attack across the field, wearing down Australia’s defence.

The six tries to one victory was a display of pace, power and confidence against a young team which had given its all in the quarter final.

In the other semi-final, Canada made its way through to the Cup final with a 17-5 win over England who had beaten Kenya in their quarter final with the last play of the game.

The pacesetters in the World Series - South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand - were all knocked out of Cup contention in the quarter finals.

RESULT

Australia 7

Tries: Porch

Cons: Lucas

USA 40

Tries: Baker 2, Tomasin 2, Iosefo, Barrett 

Cons: Hughes

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