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By ARU Media Unit
The Qantas Men’s Sevens have been ousted from the Hong Kong Sevens following a 12-5 loss to Samoa in the Plate semifinal on Sunday.
The Australians entered the final day having finished second in their pool, but an early 29-5 loss to Fiji in the Cup quarter final sent them to the Plate playoffs.
Qantas Men’s Sevens coach Michael O’Connor was disappointed in his side’s performance on the final day of the tournament, having done so well to make it the Cup playoffs.
“I don’t think we played our best football,” O’Connor said.
“There were glimpses of it yesterday, but we’ve got some work to do.”
The Australians encountered a primed Fijian team in the Cup quarter-final, as they found themselves faced with a 17-0 deficit at half time. Cam Clark opened the scoring in the second half to score the only points for his team, as the Fijians ran in a further two tries.
“We didn’t get our hands on the ball against Fiji,” O’Connor said.
“They tired us out, that was a comprehensive loss.”
Following their loss to Fiji the Australians moved to the Plate playoffs against Samoa, where they chased a 7-5 deficit at halftime. Australia’s only try was scored by Con Foley as they were kept scoreless in the second half and Samoa added a second try to seal the win.
“We had a chance to win against the Samoans, but decision making let us down in the end,” O’Connor said.
The Qantas Men’s Sevens played the final day without the services of Shannon Walker, who received an injury earlier in the tournament and will be assessed Monday.
Day one saw the Australians lose to Wales, but they bounced back on day two to defeat South Africa and Argentina to finish second in their pool.
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 now travel to Japan for the Tokyo Sevens which runs 30-31 March.
View the bios for the Qantas Men’s Sevens squad for Hong Kong/Tokyo
Check out the highlights from the final day of the Hong Kong tournament below
Qantas Men’s Sevens Hong Kong/Tokyo squad
Jesse Parahi (C)
Simon Morahan (debut)
St. Ives, NSW
Mount Gravatt, QLD
Players from the Qantas Australian Women's Sevens program visited the Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick on Thursday to bring some needed festive cheer to sick children.