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By ARU Media Unit
The Aussie Thunderbolts development side has defeated Samoa 19-14 to claim the Plate final at the Uprising Fiji International Sevens over the weekend.
The tournament is the first for members of the Australian men’s Sevens squad this year, as coach Michael O’Connor looks to firm up selections ahead of the resumption of the HSBC Sevens World Series, which returns to action in February in Wellington.
“We were looking for the opportunity to improve ahead of Wellington and this is a quality tournament featuring a lot of strong international competition,” O’Connor said.
“For us, it was a great chance face quality opposition. I saw some improvement from Day 1 to Day 2 and were able to expose more players to elite Sevens.”
Day 1 saw the Thunderbolts emerge with two wins and a loss, after early wins over Lautoka, 17-7, and Samurai, 19-7.
Unfortunately the Aussie men couldn’t continue their run of form, going down in their final game of day one to Samoa, 28-10.
After an initial 17-12 loss to New Zealand in the Cup quarter-final on Day 2, the Thunderbolts went on to defeat the Yamaica Club 35-12, setting up an encounter with Samoa in the Plate final.
The development side featured five members of the Qantas Men’s Sevens side that claimed the Bowl in Port Elizabeth late last year, with Cam Clark, Con Foley, Pama Fou, Laloifi Junior Laloifi and Peter Lee all named in the squad.
The tournament also saw the return from injury of internationals Lewis Holland and Shannon Walker. O’Connor was also pleased to be able to bring Ben Adams back into the fold after an extensive layoff due to injury.
The Qantas Men’s Sevens return to action in the fourth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Wellington, NZ on 1-2 February.
Aussie Thunderbolts for Uprising Fiji International Sevens
Laloifi Junior Laloifi