Aussies take Cape Town Challenge Trophy, NZ win Cup

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Aussie Sevens have taken out the Challenge Trophy at the Cape Town Sevens, finishing the tournament on a high, with a 26-7 win over Spain.

Australia bested Uganda and Wales on the way to the final victory, that will give them a sense of redemption after having a frustrating first day.

The Aussies found themselves up against their first opponents of the weekend in the trophy final, in Spain, and dominated from the outset.Tim Anstee had a solid weekend. Photo: Mike LeeTim Anstee opened the scoring for Australia in the third minute, before Ben O'Donnell continued the impressive finishing he has shown all weekend, scoring either side of half-time to stretch out the scoreline.

Matthew Hood capped off his second tournament, and first as a fully-fledged starter, with a game-sealing try for the Aussies.

It was a game that showcased the next generation of Aussie Sevens coming through, with newer faces engineering the scores, injecting plenty of reason for optimism into the group.

Spain's Alejandro Alonso notched a consolation try on full-time, but it was too little too late.

Though the Aussies have put themselves on a tough road when it comes to seeding for Sydney, they will take a lot of confidence out of the tournament, with some resilience shown in that second day.

New Zealand took out the Cup trophy, beating Argentina 38-14 in the decider, while South Africa had to settle for third in their home tournament, beating Canada 19-17 in the third-place playoff.

RESULT

Australia 26

Tries: O'Donnell 2, Anstee, Hood

Cons:Stannard 3

Spain 7

Tries: Alonso

Cons: Fontes

Finals Results

Cup final

New Zealand 38-14

Third-place playoff

South Africa 19 - Canada 17

Fifth-place playoff

Fiji 26 - USA 12

STANDINGS

Men's World Series standings after Cape Town 7s

1. New Zealand - 41

2. South Africa - 39

3. Fiji - 28

4. England - 27

5. Argentina - 24

6. Australia - 21

7. Canada - 20

8. France - 18

9. Samoa - 17

10. Spain - 14

11. Kenya - 13

12. USA - 13

13. Scotland- 11

14. Wales - 8

15. Uganda - 5

16. Russia - 2

12:29am - Australia 42 - Wales 5

Lewis Holland has been influential on day two. Photo: Getty ImagesAustralia has the chance at some Cape Town silverware, through to play Spain for the Challenge Trophy after a 42-5 win over Wales.

After a disappointing pool stage, the Aussies made it two from two on finals day, keeping them in contention for ninth spot, the best they could hope for.

It was an arm wrestle early but skipper Lewis Holland outsmarted Welsh defenders at the ruck to score first in the second minute.

Australia’s captain had a hand in their second, his pass putting Ben O”Donnell into a gap in the fourth minute, with the Aussies looking slicker than their Welsh opponents.

An injury to Wales’s Ethan Davies paused the match before half-time, the Welsh back taken off in the medicab.

Australia’s 13th man Brandon Quinn, who stepped into the team for Simon Kennewell, was sent to the bin with two minutes until the break, and were instantly punished, by a  Tomi Lewis try.

Quinn redeemed himself, running a brilliant support line to get on the end of a Holland pass for Australia’s third in the ninth minute.

Tim Anstee followed that up a minute later as Australia began to put their feet on Wales’s throats, with O’Donnell’s second coming 30 seconds later.

Maurice Longbottom put the full stop on an emphatic performance after Wales’s William Talbot-Daves was sent off in the final seconds, sealing the result.

Australia will take on Spain in the Trophy final at 3:05am AEDT.

RESULT

Australia 42

Tries: O’Donnell 2, Holland, Quinn, Anstee, Longbottom

Cons: Stannard 5

Yellow Cards: Quinn (5’) 

Wales 5

Tries: Lewis

Yellow Cards: Talbot-Davies  (14’)

9:03pm - Australia 47 - Uganda 12

Australia got off to a positive start. Photo: Getty ImagesAustralia has thrashed Uganda in their Cape Town challenge quarter-final, beating the Africans 47-12..

There were first-half doubles for Ben O’Donnell and Lewis Holland as they cruised to a 35-0 half-time advantage.

It took just 22 seconds for O’Donnell to slip through the Ugandan defence and score, continuing a solid tournament for the rookie.

Holland evaded his opponents and scoring Australia’s second, before doubling up 90 seconds later, in a near carbon copy to the first score.

Experienced halfback James Stannard went one-two with John Porch to put the youngster over just shy of half-time, before O’Donnell had his second.

Maurice Longbottom added to Australia’s celebrations just after half-time, and another to seal the game, with Australia showing some renewed vigour after a disappointing opening day.

Australia couldn’t quite keep a clean sheet with Solomon Okia notching Uganda’s first in the 12th minute,

A super solo effort from Longbottom was the final Aussie score of the day, before Uganda’s Adrian Kasito had the final say with a last-gasp try.

The Aussies will take on Wales in the Challenge semi-final, kicking off at 4:03pm local, Monday 12:03am AEDT.

RESULT

Australia 47

Tries: Holland 2, O’Donnell 2, Longbottom, Porch,

Cons: Stannard 6 

Uganda 12

Tries: Okia, Kasito

SCHEDULE

Cup quarter-finals 

All times AEDT

9:04pm - South Africa vs Fiji 

9:26pm - England vs New Zealand 

9:48pm - Canada vs Kenya/France 

10:10pm - USA vs Argentina 

Challenge quarter-finals 

7:36pm - Kenya/France vs Samoa 

7:58pm - Scotland vs Spain 

8:20pm - Wales vs Russia 

8:42pm - Australia vs Uganda

TEAM

Aussie men's Sevens for Cape Town Sevens

1.Matthew Hood, 2 caps, Sydney University 

2. Simon Kennewell, 10 caps, Randwick

3. Sam Myers, 29 caps, Norths (Sydney)

4. Lewis Holland (c), 32 caps, Aussie 7s

5. James Stannard, 42 caps, Aussie 7s

6. John Porch, 10 caps, Norths (Sydney)

7. Tim Anstee, 11 caps, Eastwood

8. Boyd Killingworth, 14 caps, Manly

9. Jeral Skelton*, 1 cap, Brothers

10. Ben O’Donnell, 1 cap, Randwick

11. Maurice Longbottom, 1 cap, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team

12. Lachie Anderson, 8 caps, Eastwood

*HSBC Sevens World Series debut