Aussies undefeated in Oceania Sevens pools

by Sam Phillips

The opening day of the Oceania Sevens is in the books and Australia has completed a clean sweep.

The men, led by Jeral Skelton and Nicky Price, cruised to victory over the Solomon Islands before a tougher tussle against Tonga.

The women had things all their own way, putting up two half centuries in their first two starts before putting Fiji away in their third match.

RESULTS

Men's

Australia 24 - Tonga 7

Australia 51 - Solomon Islands 0

Women's

Australia 59  - Tonga 0 

Australia 28 - Fiji 5

Australia 57 - Samoa 0

FIXTURES

Men's Cup Quarter-finals, Saturday November 11

Australia vs Papua New Guinea, 9am AEDT

New Zealand vs American Samoa, 9:20am AEDT

Samoa vs Tonga 9:40am AEDT

Fiji vs Cook Islands, 10am AEDT

Semi-finals begin at 1pm AEDT

Championship final - 4:46pm AEDT

Women's Semi-finals

Australia vs Papua New Guinea, 11am AEDT

New Zealand vs Fiji, 11:20am AEDT

Championship final - 5:06pm AEDT

5:20pm

Men's Australia 24 - Tonga 7

Australia have won all five matches on day one, with the men holding up their end of the bargain in beating Tonga 24-7.

Australia blew the opening kickoff - putting it out on the full - and were on the back foot for a few minutes thereafter but on the whole, the result was never doubt.Nicky Price has been in hot form for the Aussies. Photo: Oceania RugbyIt took three minutes to assert some ascendency on the match, Jeral Skelton putting Nicky Price away down the left hand sideline for the first try of the game.

The Tongans dropped a golden try scoring opportunity just one metre out from the Australian line and from turnover ball, Price again found space - this time down the right hand sideline - and he scored his second after a 90 metre run.Price went from scorer to creator in the next minute, throwing the final pass for Matt McTaggart to score the simplest of five pointers and give his side a 19-0 lead at the break.

Matthew Hood put the result beyond doubt in finishing a stellar team try halfway through the second term, with Tonga scoring a consolation prize on the siren.

4:20pm

Australia 28 - Fiji 5

These two teams met in the Oceania Sevens final this time last year and true to form, both sides came into this clash undefeated having faced some weak opposition in their opening pool matches.

Australia were the first to make an impression, forcing Fiji to cough the ball up before Vani Pelite put Charlotte Caslick through a hole and Caslick scored under the sticks.

Fiji controlled the ball for the next couple of minutes but eventually a wayward pop pass was picked off by Emma Tonegato, Emilee Cherry selling a dummy and jogging over the line from the following phase to open up a 14-0 lead.The Aussies are three from three on day one. Photo: Oceania RugbyFiji scored their first of the match - Australia’s first points against for the day - in the minute that followed and narrowed the gap to 14-5 with 30 seconds to play in the first term.

The Australians hit straight back through Pelite, who reversed roles with Caslick and scored under the posts after a well timed pass from Caslick put her away.

That left the score at 21-5 at the break and there was only one try in a tight second term - Dom Du Toit keeping her try scoring streak alive by scoring in the final moments of the match.

The 28-5 win keeps Australia’s perfect record intact heading into day two.

2:20pm

Men's - Australia 51 - Solomon Islands 0

The Australian men have matched the efforts of the women from earlier in the day, easily accounting for the Solomon Islands in their first pool match with a 51-0 win.

Jeral Skelton scored Australia’s first, scooting down the right hand sideline to score, before Dylan Pietsch matched his effort on the left wing in the fourth minute.

Nicky Price went over under the posts next and that left the score at 17-0 with one minute to play in the first term, Skelton turning turnover ball into five points on the left wing in the final minute of the half before Price claimed the ensuing kickoff and went over untouched to lead 27-0 at the break.

Brandon Quinn scored a brilliant individual try to kick things off in the second term before Skelton nabbed his third for the match, opening up a 37 point lead.

The Australians crossed again before skipper Matt McTaggart scored with the final siren ringing out in the background, converting his own try to record a half century.

1:20pm

Women's  - Australia 57 - Samoa 0

Australia have cruised to a second consecutive half century at the Oceania Sevens, barely getting out of first gear in a 57-0 win against Samoa.

Emma Tonegato kept her try scoring frenzy from the first match going by scoring Australia’s first in this clash, quickly followed by an Emilee Cherry try.

Both five pointers were the result of pinpoint looping cutouts but it was a grubber from the boot of Alicia Quirk that set up Australia’s next - Shannon Parry cleaning up the loose ball in goal to dot down.Emilee Cherry has crossed for a try in both matches today. Photo: Oceania RugbyThat left the score poised at 17-0 as the half time siren sounded but the Australians weren’t done yet, Charlotte Caslick turning a penalty from the ensuing kickoff into an individual try, running 60 metres up the middle of the field to score under the sticks and open up a 24-0 half time lead.

Things picked up where they left off in the second term, a grubber from Vani Pelite behind the Samoan line setting up Dom Du Toit’s third try of the afternoon.

Tonegato was in again one minute later, Pelite setting up the try with a perfect cutout pass.

Caslick pinched a turnover from the next Samoan set and from the ensuing penalty, Lauren Brown scored.

Tonegato completed a hat trick with two minutes to play before adding her fourth five pointer of the match after the final siren had rung out.

10:15am

Women's - Australia 59 - Tonga 0

The Australian's have started their Oceania Sevens campaign in style, with the women flogging Tonga in their opening match to the tune of a 59-0 win.

Tonga botched the opening kickoff and a quick lineout from Sharni Williams was spread wide to Dom Du Toit, who had too much speed out wide and crossed in the opening minute.

Emma Tonegato was awarded a pilfer penalty from the kickoff that followed and the ball then found Williams, who threw a dummy, sliced through the line and scored Australia's second of the day.

The Tongans then threatened the Australian line but debutant Lauren Brown nullified that threat by forcing a turnover, quick hands giving Tonegato a clear run to the line from 50 out for her side's third try of the match.


Williams was involved again moments later when she straightened the attack and found an unmarked Emilee Cherry outside her, taking the score to 26-0 with five minutes in the books.

Du Toit showed her sharp turn of foot from a scrum one minute later, slicing the Tongan line and dotting down under the posts for her second and giving the Australians a 33-0 lead at the break.

It was a procession in the first half and it wasn't any different in the second, as the Australians ran in four more tries through Brown, a double to Emma Sykes and Mahalia Murphy.

9:30am

FIXTURE

Here are when both the Australian men and women will play today and who they'll come up against.

Australian Men's Sevens (all times AEDT)

2pm - Australia vs Solomon Islands

5pm - Australia vs Tonga

Australian Women's Sevens (all times AEDT)

10am - Australia vs Tonga

1pm - Australia vs Samoa

4pm - Australia vs Fiji

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