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By ARU Media Unit
Australian Sevens centre Brackin Karauria-Henry has scored a hat trick of tries against France to rocket his young team to victory at the IRB Sevens World Series in Las Vegas on Saturday.
The Patrick McCutcheon-led Australians demolished France 38-0 after also maintaining a clean sheet in their opening pool hitout against Guyana, which Australia won 33-0.
Australia lost their final pool match to fierce rivals New Zealand 12-7, but coach Michael O’Connor’s side did enough to finish second in Pool A and secure a place in the Cup quarter-finals where they will take on Fiji on Sunday.
Series debutant Liam Gill, who recently led the Australian Schoolboys on their tour to the UK and Ireland, crossed the chalk late in the hit-out against Guyana to record his first IRB Sevens try. Brian Sefanaia, Bernard Foley, McCutcheon and Sills also ran in tries while Stannard nailed four from five conversions.
Karauria-Henry scored his hat trick within just five-minutes of Australia’s 38-point victory over France, where outstanding defence prevented the opposition entering Australia’s 22.
Kimami Sitauti, Jacob Taylor and leading Australian try scorer Clinton Sills also scored five-pointers in the demolition, with James Stannard kicking four conversions.
The Australians would be proud of their improving results against Series-leading New Zealand after going down 24-12 in Wellington last weekend and closing the gap to a solitary try in a closely-fought encounter on Saturday.
After three tournaments on the eight-leg IRB Series, Australia are in fifth with 30 points. New Zealand currently top the table with 64 points after two tournament wins.
Adelaide Oval plays host to the IRB Sevens World Series from March 19-21.
Australian Sevens: Patrick McCutcheon (capt), James Stannard, Brian Sefanaia, Eddie Quirk, Liam Gill, Bernard Foley, Jacob Taylor, Brackin Karauria-Henry, Talalelei Gray, Kimami Sitauti, Clinton Sills, Robbie Coleman. Coach: Michael O’Connor.
Qantas Australian Men's Sevens Head Coach Geraint John has lauded his charges after they recorded their second top-three finish in consecutive weeks.