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By ARU Media Unit
After successfully qualifying for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens the Qantas Men’s Sevens are now focusing on their path to Russia.
Australia had to finish in the top three at the Oceania Sevens Championships last weekend to qualify for the 2013 tournament, a feat they achieved in style claiming top honours and remaining unbeaten across the two day tournament; leaving three out of the six teams they played scoreless.
Qantas Men’s Sevens Coach, Michael O’Connor believes the experience of winning a tournament was one of the biggest things they took away from the two-day Championships.
The experience gained from the victory cannot be underestimated nor can the fact that the Australian’s overcame defending Champions Samoa in the final play-off, a team O’Connor describes as a Seven’s powerhouse.
“I thought the team played really well,” O’Connor said.
“Playing the twenty minute final against Samoa gave the team serious game knowledge.
“Samoa is a tough side who bring a lot of physicality, skill and determination into every game.
“It was one of the most physical encounters I’ve seen in a while, but the team didn’t back down, they weren’t intimidated so it was very encouraging.”
The Qantas Men’s Sevens are now looking ahead to the upcoming Rugby Sevens tournaments, including The Noosa International Seven’s Festival on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 October at Sunshine Beach, Queensland before Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch kicks-off the first round of the HSBC Sevens World Series on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 October 2012. Get your tickets now.
“We’re building towards our home tournament so all our energy is now directed to the Gold Coast Sevens,” O’Connor said.
“To continue to build depth in our squad we’ll be preparing a development team for Noosa, which is the week before Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch.
“Having the Oceania Sevens tournament under our belt is good as we’re trying to give ourselves the best opportunity for our home tournament on the Gold Coast.
Qantas Men’s Sevens Captain, Ed Jenkins said the Oceania Sevens Championships were a good experience in the six weeks leading up to the Gold Coast Sevens.
“The Final against Samoa is something we can take home as a great positive,” Jenkins said.
“Knowing we can beat them is something that will give us confidence moving forward.
“It’s a work in progress and we know our new defensive system and our attack can both be improved.
“Now that we’ve qualified for the World Cup we’re setting our sights on the Gold Coast.
“Our minds are on the job already as we haven’t won a tournament on home soil since 2002.
“Travelling up as a squad to Noosa will be a good chance for some of the players to get a bit extra game time before the big one on the Gold Coast.
“Hopefully we’ll get a lot of support up on the Gold Coast and we can deliver our fans a tournament win and start the series on a high.”
To see the Qantas Men’s Sevens in action get your tickets to the Noosa International Sevens at Sunshine Beach, Queensland (Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 October 2012) and the Gold Coast Sevens – Fever Pitch at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast (Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 October 2012).
Tom Kingston was nearly a Sevens player five years ago, just as he entered the professional rugby ranks.