Aussie Sevens to meet hosts in Cape Town QF

by staff

Australia’s Men's Sevens team will battle a hostile crowd in their Cup quarter-final against South Africa in the Cape Town Sevens.

Australia improved on their performances from the opening round of the World Series, going through their pool undefeated to set up a Cup quarter-final clash against the hosts and defending champions.

A win against in-form USA provided Australia's toughest challenge on the opening day, with the Aussies coming away 26-21 winners, after beating Portugal 45-0 and Wales 21-14.

South Africa's surprise loss at the hands of Kenya put them on a quarter-final collision course with Australia.

Interim coach Scott Bowen said it was the side’s off the ball work that made the difference in the matches.

“We had three good performances today,” he said.

“We showed a real hunger out there to both save points and support our team-mates when line-breaks were made.

“Everyone was willing to contribute to that hard work in areas that tend to go unnoticed.”

The series has also been used to get some game time into debutants Boyd Killingworth and Henry Hutchison as well as Tom Kingston and Stephan Van der Walt, in their second rounds.

With the Rio Olympics lying at the end of this World Series, Bowen said developing that depth and experience would prove critical.

"It was invaluable to get those players who haven’t had a lot of game time a good run out,” he said.

“Not only for the short-term like this tournament but as we look to build depth leading up to the Rio Olympics."

Bowen had plenty of praise for Killingworth, who has been in the Sevens program full-time since October.

"I thought Boyd was terrific and had an outstanding debut,” he said.

“He was the catalyst behind a lot of the good things we did in both attack and defence and showed just why we decided to contract him after a strong NRC tournament with the North Harbour Rays.

“To play as well as he did today after limited experience in Sevens, particularly at international level, was really pleasing."

With another sold out crowd set for Day Two, the Aussies will be prepared for a tough reception as they bid for a Cup semi-finals spot.

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens results in Cape Town, South Africa, 12-13 December:

Australia 45-0 Portugal, Pool C

Australia 21-14 Wales, Pool C

Australia 26-21 USA, Pool C

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens fixture in Cape Town, South Africa, 13 December:

Australia v South Africa, Cup Quarter-Final, 9.26pm AEDT