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A man of the match performance from captain Ed Jenkins spearheaded the Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens to a comprehensive 12-0 victory over highly rated Samoa in their final match of Day 1 of the Gold Coast Sevens.
The home favourites saved their best to last with the win taking them to the top of Pool D and stride into the Cup quarter finals tomorrow where they will face Kenya.
Australia started the crucial final Pool match well with Jenkins racing away 50 metres to score under the posts in the first minute. Cameron Clark, son of Fox Sports commentator Greg Clark, landed the conversion and Australia led 7-0.
Since the opening match against Scotland, Australia’s defence and work at the breakdown had improved immeasurably.
Samoa had much of the possession for the rest of the half but Australia penned them in their own half, cutting them down with clinical defence.
Australia had a chance to go further ahead on the stroke of half time but Jenkins inside pass to Clark went to ground with the tryline beckoning.
Jenkins then turned try saver after chasing back 70 metres to pull off a superb covering tackle on Benito Masilevu, pulling up the Samoan flyer inches from the line.
Shannon Walker then came on and turned on the rocket burners as he sprinted 60 metres down the left hand touchline and bounced off three Samoan defenders on his way to a superb touchdown.
Clark this time missed the conversion but Australia were clear 12-0.
Samoa had a chance to hit back as Samoa Toloa burst away but this time Con Foley was the hero chasing back to pull off a cover defending tackle just as good as Jenkins.
Australia then closed out the game to win 12-0 and top Pool D. Their reward is a Cup quarter-final match up against Kenya at 12.42pm (AEST) on Sunday.
A win in that match would then see them take on either South Africa or Wales in the Cup semi-finals.
The most impressive team on Day 1 was undoubtedly New Zealand with the All Blacks Sevens racking up 95 points in their three victories without conceding a single point.
New Zealand’s three wins -38-0 vs USA, 26-0 vs Tonga and most impressively of all, 31-0 vs previously unbeaten Kenya – were achieved without four of their top five tryscorers from last year – Ben Lam, Gillies Kaka, Kurt Baker and Sherwin Stowers, who all missed the tournament with injury.
The full line up for the Cup Quarter Finals tomorrow is as follows:
11.58am: New Zealand vs Samoa
12.20pm: Fiji vs England
12.42pm: Australia vs Kenya
13.04pm: South Africa vs Wales
The line-up for the Bowl Quarter Finals is as follows:
10.30am: USA vs Scotland
10.52am: Canada vs Spain
11.14am: Argentina vs Tonga
11.36am: France vs Portugal
To get your tickets to all the action of the final day of the Gold Coast Sevens CLICK HERE
To check out all the results from Day 1 CLICK HERE
GOLD COAST SEVENS
Pool D Match Results - Australia
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens 12 (Ed Jenkins, Shannon Walker tries; Cameron Clark conversion) defeated Samoa 0 at Skilled Park, Gold Coast.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens 22 (Nick Malouf 2, Tom Lucas, Shannon Walker tries; Cameron Clark conversion) defeated Argentina 7 (Lucas de Vincenzi try; Gaston Revol conversion) at Skilled Park, Gold Coast.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens 21 (Sean McMahon, Con Foley, Nick Malouf tries; James Stannard 3 conversions) drew with Scotland 21 (Scott Riddell, James Fleming, Mark Robertson tries; Robertson 2, Alex Glashan conversions) at Skilled Park, Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Sevens is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland as part of a growing calendar of sporting, cultural and regional events throughout the state.
Players from the Qantas Australian Women's Sevens program visited the Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick on Thursday to bring some needed festive cheer to sick children.