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The Qantas Men’s Sevens has come away with third place at the Federation of Oceania Rugby Union’s 2013 Oceania Men’s Sevens Championship.
The two-day tournament, held in Suva, Fiji, saw Australia start strongly on Day 1 keeping its try-line uncrossed for its opening two games, beating American Samoa 31 – 0, followed by another convincing win, this time over Solomon Islands 43 – 0.
The final pool game proved more challenging with Samoa, eventual champions, victorious 26 – 12 to place Australia second in Pool B at the end Day 1.
On Day 2, Australia came out strong in their first game, crossing the line six times to defeat Papua New Guinea 36 – 19 in the quarter finals.
Facing an unbeaten Fiji to secure a finals berth, Australia lifted its game staying in contention at half-time 12 – 12. Despite a strong performance, Fiji played a faster game and ran off with a 31 – 17 win.
The team’s final match of the day delivered seven tries and successful conversions to take third spot from Cook Islands with an impressive 49 – 5 win.
Qantas Men’s Sevens coach, Michael O’Connor was impressed with the team’s performance especially given the side had never previously played together.
“It was an incredibly worthwhile tournament for us. It offered quality opposition and exposed new players to an international Sevens experience.
“At the end of the day, we only went down by two tries in our losses to Samoa and Fiji, so plenty of positives to take from this.
“Players were vying for one of three spots in the Gold Coast Sevens team, and some have really stepped up.
“Samoa is in our pool next week, as is Argentina, also playing here in the Invitational, plus Fiji is defending champion, so it’s been really good to see them in action ahead of the Gold Coast Sevens.”