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By ARU Media Unit
One day out from the seventh leg of the HBSC Sevens World Series in Tokyo, the Qantas Men’s Sevens are intent on playing with consistency, as they look to improve on their Plate semi-final placing at the Hong Kong Sevens last week.
Speaking from Tokyo, Coach Michael O’Connor said his players had been disappointed with their early ousting from the Hong Kong tournament, but knew what improvements needed to be made.
“The guys set their sights high in Hong Kong and played good footy, but it just wasn’t consistent enough,” O’Connor said.
“We’ve focussed on defence a fair bit in the wake of Hong Kong. We attacked pretty well, but there were some defensive lapses, there’s no doubt about that.
“We should have beat England in the Cup quarter-final, we had them pinned toward the end of the game but we lost focus. We just want to focus on finishing off games.”
Australia is currently ranked sixth on the HSBC Sevens World Series after a strong start to the season was hampered by injuries, forcing O’Connor to use 22 players so far in the circuit.
In a first for this season, the Qantas Men’s Sevens finished last week’s tournament with a clean bill of health, allowing O’Connor to leave the side unchanged between tournaments.
“We’re good, we don’t have any injuries which is a first, so we’re in good shape,” O’Connor said.
“For the first time this year we’re able to go into the second week with an unchanged lined up that is fit, which really good.”
The Qantas Men’s Sevens will face a strong pool in Tokyo, alongside last week’s hosts Hong Kong, New Zealand and the United States.
Series leaders New Zealand finished as runners up in Hong Kong, losing to Fiji in the final, while the US fell just two points short of a Bowl final victory over Kenya.
The Tokyo Sevens runs over two days, with pool play on Saturday 31 March and finals on Sunday, 1 April. Live action from the final day of the Tokyo Sevens will be televised on Fox Sports 3 starting at 11:30am on Sunday 11 March.
Qantas Men’s Sevens Squad for Tokyo:
Ed Jenkins (c)
Tokyo Sevens Pools:
Australian Draw for Tokyo Sevens:
March 31, 2012
Australia vs Hong Kong
Australia vs United States
March 31, 2012
Australia vs New Zealand