Unbeaten Aussies to play USA in cup quarter-finals at Glasgow Sevens

by RUGBY.com.au staff

The Qantas Australian Men's Sevens team has set up a crucial Cup Quarter-Final showdown with the USA at the Glasgow Sevens after going unbeaten on Day One.

Geraint John's side topped Pool A on points difference from England after a tight tussle with the men in white (17-17) ahead of wins over France (38-7) and Russia (31-5).

Qantas Australian Sevens Head Coach Geraint John said: "On the whole I think we should be very pleased with how we did today. We played like we have for the majority of the season with an excitement and enthusiasm in our game that wasn't there in Tokyo.

"We went back to our basics - making our tackles, keeping the ball in contact, and making our passes. I felt we improved as the day went on. The match against England showed how close the two teams are though I felt we had our opportunities to perhaps win that game. Against a France team that has some very, very good players we got in their faces and didn't allow them to play."

On tomorrow's clash with the USA, John added: "They beat us in Tokyo last time out so we know what to expect. It is up to us now to recover well and be prepared."

In Australia's opening pool game against England, the men in gold started brightly with Cameron Clark shrugging off the challenge of Tom Mitchell to score in the right corner. From the re-start, Pama Fou outjumped the opposition with the ball eventually falling to James Stannard who fed Ed Jenkins to dot down. James Rodwell and Dan Norton both scored for the English before half-time to level it up only. Lewis Holland fortuitously captalised on a wayward Australian line-out to race clear and restore his side's lead only for Norton to score his second of the game to tie the scores in the final minute.

In a must-win Pool A clash against a dangerous France side, Australia produced one of its most effective performances of the season to date. The Aussies raced into a 19-point lead at the break after tries from Ed Jenkins and a double from Cameron Clark. Lewis Holland increased the advantage in the second minute of the second half before Greg Jeloudev scored his 50th Sevens World Series try. Manoel Dall'igna reduced the arrears for France but Con Foley had the final say when he gathered his own chip and chase to put the icing on the cake.

The green and gold rubber-stamped their place in tomorrow's Cup Quarter-Finals with a convincing win over Russia. James Stannard scored in the opening minute after a period of sustained pressure and Con Foley extended Australia's lead straight from the re-start. Some dazzling footwork from Pama Fou resulted in another five-pointer while Cameron Clark out-paced the Russian defence to give Australia a 24-0 lead at the break. Greg Jeloudev scored his side's fifth try of the game before Ilya Babaev scored a consolation for Russia late on.

Elsewhere, South Africa and Fiji were the first countries to qualify automatically for the 2016 Olympics through the Sevens World Series after progressing from their respective pools. In the other Cup Quarter-Finals in Glasgow, series leaders South Africa will play Fiji, New Zealand face off against Scotland, while England take on Canada.

Finals Day from Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow will be broadcast on FOX SPORTS 2 from 7.20pm on Sunday 10 May.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens results in Glasgow, Scotland, 9-10 May:

Australia 17-17 England, Pool A

Australia 38-7 France, Pool A

Australia 31-5 Russia, Pool A

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixture in Glasgow, Scotland, 10 May:

Australia v USA, Cup Quarter-Final, 8.58pm AEST