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By ARU Media Unit
The Qantas Men’s Sevens have finished second in their pool at the Hong Kong Sevens, with two wins from three matches in the opening stage of the sixth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
The Australians got off to a bad start, losing their first match to Wales on Friday night, before bouncing back to claim wins over South Africa and Argentina on Saturday.
Qantas Men’s Sevens coach Michael O’Connor was proud of his team’s efforts to advance to the Cup quarter finals.
“In my time, that’s the hardest two matches we’ve had to play to get through to the quarter final,” O’Connor said.
“The standard of the opposition was great, it was a really tough pool with really tough games.
“We had to win both our games today so it was a really courageous effort.”
The Qantas Men’s Sevens first match saw a late try seal a 19-14 win to Wales.
The Australians were down 12-0 at half time against the Welsh, but Lewis Holland scored twice for his side to close the gap. Freshly returned Australian international James Stannard, playing in his first tournament since 2010, added the extras on both occasions for Australia to take a 14-12 lead. A late try saw the Welsh steal the win.
Day two saw the Australians in much better form, opening with a 21-12 win over South Africa. Australia took a 7-5 lead at half time following a try and conversion to Stannard. Shannon Walker added a double in the second half to give Australia a comfortable lead, with Stannard adding both extras.
They went on to win 12-5 over Argentina, with Holland and Stannard again combining with try and conversion in the first half to give their side a 7-5 lead at half time. Walker scored the only try of the second half to give Australia the win.
The Qantas Men’s Sevens face Fiji at 3:30pm (AEST) in the Cup quarter-final on the last day of competition in Hong Kong.
All games Sunday will be broadcast live on Fox Sports. Just hit the red button for Viewer’s Choice.
View the bios for the Qantas Men’s Sevens squad for Hong Kong/Tokyo
Qantas Men’s Sevens Hong Kong/Tokyo squad
Jesse Parahi (C)
Simon Morahan (debut)
St. Ives, NSW
Mount Gravatt, QLD
The Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens team begins its quest for Olympic qualification in Rio with Dubai first up in the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series in December.