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Qantas Men's Sevens Hong Kong preview

  
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3/20/2013
By ARU Media Unit


The Qantas Men’s Sevens head to the sixth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series in Hong Kong this weekend with the aim of improving their consistency and mental toughness in the crucial playoff stage of the tournament.

The Australians have experienced generally impressive results in the pool stages of each tournament so far, including undefeated runs on the Gold Coast and in Wellington, but coach Michael O’Connor wants more from his young charges.
 
“We need to get some momentum and it’s going to start now,” O’Connor said.
 
“This pool will be a really good test to see where we’re at. This will be a big challenge mentally for us to get through.”
 
The Qantas Men’s Sevens, currently ranked 11th, face Wales, South Africa and Argentina in pool play, all teams O’Connor’s side are familiar with.
 
The last meeting between Australia and Wales was in the 2011-12 season in Scotland last year, when the Australians emerged 17-7 victors in the Cup quarter-final.
 
Wales are currently ranked eighth in the World Series standings and O’Connor expects a tight contest between the two sides.
 
“Wales first up will be tough, we know each other’s game inside out so it’s going to be a real game of cat and mouse,” O’Connor said.
 
“We’ve played them a lot so it will be a cracking first game. They’ve got a solid passing game and their restart is incredible, we’ve got a lot of respect for them.”
 
South Africa are currently ranked second on the World Series and will provide a massive physical challenge for the Australians.
 
“South Africa have improved throughout the season, they had some injuries early on and they’re just coming back now,” O’Connor said.
 
“They’re a very good attacking side and they’re going to be absolutely fired up. They’ve never won the Hong Kong Sevens and they’re one of the world powers in Sevens.”
 
Australia and South Africa have met twice so far this season, trading results, with a 17-7 win to South Africa at home and a 28-12 win to Australia in New Zealand.
 
Australia has already faced Argentina once this year, on the Gold Coast, where the locals lost 17-14 to the South Americans.
 
The Argentinians, currently ranked seventh, have had a reasonably strong season so far, with a fourth-place finish in South Africa and fifth on the Gold Coast.
 
O’Connor expects another strong contest from Argentina.
 
“They’re traditionally a tough side for us to beat,” O’Connor said.
 
“We’ve already met them once this year and they’ve certainly had it over us in the past.”
 
The Qantas Men’s Sevens face Wales at 9:12pm (AEST) this Friday March 22, followed by South Africa at 4:46pm (AEST) on Saturday March 23 and Argentina at 8:26pm, also on Saturday.
 
All games on finals day Sunday will be shown live on Fox Sports. Just hit the red button for Viewers Choice.
 
 
 
Qantas Men’s Sevens Hong Kong/Tokyo squad
 

1

Tom Cusack

Canberra, ACT

2

Jesse Parahi (C)

Fairlight, NSW

3

Sean McMahon

Hendra, QLD

4

Will Miller

Berry, NSW

5

Simon Morahan (debut)

Brisbane, QLD

6

Con Foley

Fairfield, QLD

7

Cam Clark

St. Ives, NSW

8

James Stannard

Perth, WA

9

Ben Adams

Mount Gravatt, QLD

10

Lewis Holland

Braidwood, NSW

11

Pama Fou

Gailes, QLD

12

Shannon Walker

Salisbury, QLD

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