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Australia’s Qantas Men’s Sevens team will face Kenya in the Cup quarter-finals tomorrow, after topping their pool on day one of the Gold Coast Sevens.
The Australians drew with Scotland 21-all in their opening match, before beating both Argentina, 22-7, and Samoa 12-0 in the opening round of the HSBC Sevens World Series at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast.
Australia v Scotland
The Australians started strongly against Scotland, but a second half comeback saw the Scots chase down a 21-point deficit to tie the game on full time.
Australia led 14-0 at half time following tries to Sean McMahon and Nick Malouf. James Stannard converted both tries.
Australia extended their lead early in the second half with a try to Con Foley. Stannard again converted the try to give Australia a 21-0 lead.
The rest of the game belonged to Scotland, as they controlled possession and scored three late tries through Mark Robertson, Scott Riddell and James Fleming.
Australia 21 – Scotland 21
Australia tries – Sean McMahon, Nick Malouf, Con Foley.
Australia conversions – Stannard (3).
Scotland tries – Mark Robertson, Scott Riddell, James Fleming.
Scotland conversions – Robertson (2), Alex Glashan.
Australia v Argentina
The Australians found themselves down 7-0 early against the Argentines, but hit back immediately, with a powerful run by Sean McMahon setting up a try for Nick Malouf to close the gap to 7-5.
The home team then took charge, with tries to Shannon Walker and a second to Malouf taking them to a 17-7 lead at half time. Cameron Clark converted one try.
The second half saw Tom Lucas, brother of Reds utility Ben and Waratahs scrumhalf Matt, make his debut for Australia and score the final try of the match.
Australia 22 – Argentina 7
Australia tries – Nick Malouf (2), Shannon Walker, Tom Lucas.
Australia conversions – Cameron Clark.
Argentina try – Lucas de Vincenzi.
Argentina conversion – Gaston Revol
Australia v Samoa
Australia opened the scoring in the first minute against Samoa, with Ed Jenkins breaking away from within his own half to cross under the posts. Cam Clark added the extras and Australia led 7-0.
Abrasive defence continued to be a hallmark of the Australians in the latter stages of the tournament, as they held Samoa scoreless for a 7-0 lead at half time.
The Samoans had two solid scoring opportunities in the second half, with players making clean breaks, only to be chased down close to the line by Ed Jenkins and Con Foley, respectively.
Both teams were showing signs of fatigue as mistakes crept into the game in the late stages of the second half.
With weary legs on both sides, Australia’s Shannon Walker was brought on and was immediately effective. The flying winger created a try from nothing, fending off two Samoan defenders and running 60 metres to take Australia to a 12-0 lead.
Australia 12 – Samoa 0
Australia tries – Ed Jenkins, Shannon Walker.
Australia conversion – Cam Clark.
National Youth Girls’ Sevens Championships
Skilled Park was also the venue for the final of the National Youth Girls’ Sevens Championships final, with New South Wales Blue defeating Queensland Red 22-10.
New South Wales dominated the first half of the match and led 10-0 at the break. Queensland tied the game early in the second half, but the girls from south of the Tweed quickly regained the lead and ran away with the game.
New South Wales’ tries were scored by Sarah Halvorson, Akeisha Kelly, Tayma Terita and Salote Cavuliati. The sole conversion was kicked by Jasmin Allende.
Queensland’s tries were scored by Siteri Rasolea and Dominique Du Toit, who was also named player of the tournament.
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.