Aussies "not quite there yet" after fourth place finish in Dubai: Walsh

Mens - Dubai
by Sam Phillips

Australia have been forced to settle for fourth in Dubai after two tries at the death sunk an otherwise sharp start to the season.

After flogging Argentina in their Cup quarter final the Aussies lost a thrilling Cup semi final to USA more than two minutes after the final siren had rung out and they suffered a similar loss against England in the bronze medal match, too.

Here's how all the action panned out.

3:30am - Aussies "not quite there yet" says Walsh

They may have been agonisingly close to a grand final berth in Dubai but coach Tim Walsh wasn't having any talk about moral victories after his side finished fourth.

"If we’re honest with ourselves we are not quite there yet," he said.


"We had a good tournament and we had individuals who put out world class performances but in a prestigious event of the World Series you have to be good every game and you have to be performing in those pressure moments

"That’s when the good teams do their jobs and do it well.

"We were very close to winning both those games, but we didn’t and that’s the reality of where we are at. We’re in the top four but we want to be on the podium."

2:30am - Men's bronze medal match - England 15 Australia 14

Another last gasp try has pushed Australia off the podium in Dubai, falling to arch rivals England.

Having beaten the Poms in the group stage 24 hours earlier there was no lack of feeling through this encounter but it was the old enemy who had the last laugh, Harry Glover crossing at the death to secure the 15-14 win.


It was the Australians who drew first blood when John Porch touched down and while William Muir responded for England, Lachie Anderson crossed just before half time to open up a 14-5 lead.

That lead was narrowed to 14-10 when Mike Ellery crossed before Glover put the nail in the coffin at the death.

12:10am - Men's Cup semi final - USA 22 Australia 17

The Australians were forced to fight for every metre with first use of the football and after a three minute stalemate Jesse Parahi coughed the ball up and Perry Baker took full advantage.

He chipped, chased and had too much toe for John Porch and no more than 60 seconds later the Americans had their second through Matai Leuta.

The Australians desperately needed some points before the half time break and Lachie Anderson was the man to deliver, flying down the left hand sideline to open the account.

Remarkably, the Aussies weren't done with in the first term.

Porch split the Americans up the middle from the ensuing restart and locked things up at 12-all at the break, Ben O'Donnell doing some great work on the ground to force the pilfer.

Henry Hutchison and the Australian men fell agonisingly short of a Dubai 7s final berth. Photo: Getty ImagesDanger man Baker was then sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knockdown and the Australians immediately took the advantage and ran with it, Porch scoring his second and putting the Aussie noses in front for the first time in the match.

The American's weren't finished just yet.

They worked their way upfield, patiently, scoring in the left corner and giving Madison Hughes the chance to win the match from the sideline with 60 seconds to play.

The conversion sailed under the cross bar and scores were level at 17-all.

Next try wins.

It took 150 seconds after the final siren but it was USA who eventually managed to score the winner.

Heartbreak for the Aussie men, who have found the sort of form which guided them to last season's Sydney 7s title once again.

7:05pm - Men's Cup QF - Australia 38 Argentina 0

The Australians set up shop inside the Argentinian 22 from the outset and a weaving Maurice Longbottom soon set Jesse Parahi up for the first five pointer of the match.

After recovering the restart it was Ben O'Donnell's time to shine as the star sophomore dummied, stepped and ran under the sticks to dot down and open up a 14-0 lead.

Some Nic Malouf magic then gave the Australians a 21-0 lead at half time, stepping inside two would be tacklers and turning on the jets to score under the posts.

Boyd Killingworth and the Aussie men are into a Cup semi final in Dubai. Photo: Getty ImagesArgentina finally got their hands on the football when play resumed but after giving away a penalty for a high clean out O'Donnell set off in search of Australia's fourth, using a support line from John Porch to fool defenders and go over for his second.

Not to be outdone, Longbottom turned some loose Argentinian ball into five points for Henry Hutchison with a perfectly placed grubber.

Porch put the icing on the cake at the death, the 38-0 win booking a Cup semi final berth.

6:30pm - Pool match wrap

ICYMI, here's how all the action unfolded on Friday.