Double defeat seals Aussie Sevens fate in Glasgow

by staff

The Qantas Australian Men's team has finished seventh at the Glasgow Sevens after losses to the USA and South Africa on Finals Day.

Australia lost its Cup Quarter-Final to the USA (14-7) before succumbing to South Africa (21-12) in the Plate Semi-Final at a wet Scotstoun Stadium.

Now 16 points behind England in the standings with one round of the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series remaining, it is now virtually impossible for Australia to secure a top four berth that ensures automatic qualification for the 2016 Olympics.

If Australia do finish the season in its current position of fifth, the green and gold will play in the regional Oceania Rugby tournament in Auckland on 14-15 November 2015, with the winning nation securing qualification for Rio.

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens Head Coach Geraint John said: "Going into the game against the USA we were very confident and played well in patches. However, we shot ourselves in the foot against the Americans by turning the ball over too many times and handing them two tries from around 100m out which is particularly disappointing. Credit to the opposition, they stuck in there and made their tackles but we didn't take our opportunities when presented to us.

"In the game against a quality South African side, once again they capitalised on poor errors from us. Throughout the weekend I think we've shown glimpses of what we are capable of, but we have been too erratic."

Australia were bundled out of the Cup competition at the Quarter-Final stage after the USA came from behind to take the honours. Pama Fou gave the Aussies an early lead when he spotted a gap on the left edge to cross over only for the lightning Perry Baker to race clear to level proceedings. In a tight second half of few chances powerful centre Maka Unufe eluded two tackles to hand the Eagles a hard-fought win.

South Africa ended Australia's campaign in Scotland after coming from behind to win the Plate Semi-Final. Cameron Clark handed Australia an early lead only for Ruhan Nel to level it up almost immediately. Two more tries from Nel completed his hat-trick to put the Blitzbokke out of sight. A fine, late individual try from Allan Fa'alava'au reduced the arrears but it wasn't enough as Australia left Glasgow with 10 World Series points.

Elsewhere, Fiji moved to the top of the World Series standings after beating New Zealand in a nail-biting Cup Final while England defeated the USA to finish third. South Africa saw off Scotland in the Plate Final to finish fifth.

The World Series heads to Twickenham next weekend as the season draws to a close. Australia has been drawn in Pool B alongside New Zealand, Wales and Japan.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens results in Glasgow, Scotland, 9-11 May:

Australia 17-17 England, Pool A

Australia 38-7 France, Pool A

Australia 31-5 Russia, Pool A

Australia 7-14 USA, Cup Quarter-Final

Australia 12-21 South Africa, Plate Semi-Final

Final placings for the Glasgow Sevens (Top 7): 1. Fiji (22 World Series points), 2. New Zealand (19 points), 3. England (17 points), 4. USA (15 points), 5. South Africa (13 points), 6. Scotland (12 points), 7. Australia / Canada (10 points)

Current standings in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series after eight rounds (Top 6): 1. Fiji (147 World Series points), 2. South Africa (142 points), 3. New Zealand (139 points), 4. England (117 points), 5. Australia (101 points) 6. USA (86 points)