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By ARU Media Unit
The Australian Men’s Sevens team have run out 3-point winners against South Africa in a thrilling Plate Final at the Dubai Sevens overnight.
The Australians, who fell twice to the South African’s in the opening leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series a week ago at the Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament, turned the tables on their Southern hemisphere rivals to claim the Plate Final 17-14 in exciting fashion.
The South Africans were the first to score in the final after just 36 seconds.
The Australians hit straight back 3-minutes later when Lewis Holland crossed for his first for the match, however after Holland missed the conversion the Australians still trailed South Africa 7-5.
The Aussies then went further behind when South Africa crossed just before half time to extend their lead by another 7-points and entered the break, up 14-5.
Australian substitute Hamish Angus then gave the Aussies a sniff when he crossed in the second minute to pull the score back to 14-10.
It was tough going for the next 4 minutes with both sides attacking and defending strongly, however in the final minute the Australians won a scrum feed in their own quarter.
In what would be the final play of the match the Australians won the scrum and spun the ball wide to Lewis Holland who showed great speed and strength to cut through the South African defence and cross for the match winning try after the final siren.
Angus then converted Holland’s good work to give the Aussies a well-deserved 3-point win to claim the Dubai Sevens Plate Final and finish the second leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in fifth spot.
The Australians now sit sixth on the HSBC Sevens World Series ladder after their fourth place in last week’s inaugural Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch tournament and are just one point from third spot, four points from second spot and 11-points from first placed Fiji.
The Aussies will have a chance to move up the Series table when they travel to Nelson Mandela Bay next week for the third leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series where they’ll face South Africa, Canada and Kenya in Pool C.
The Australian Women’s Sevens team were also in action last night in the 3rd v 4th playoff against the USA.
After falling agonisingly short in their semi-final match against England earlier in the night the Aussie Women bounced back to run out 22-5 winners and finish the Dubai tournament in third spot.
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.