Aussies off to a flyer at Hong Kong Sevens

by staff

The Qantas Australian Men's side got their Hong Kong Sevens campaign off to the ideal start tonight by seeing off the challenge of a dogged Portuguese outfit (33-5).

Ed Jenkins was the beneficiary of some good work from Nick Malouf to dot down after an enterprising start by the men in gold. Skipper Jenkins then scored the 81st try of his career a minute later - converted by Cameron Clark - to hand Australia a 14-point advantage.

Portuguese powerhouse Aderito Esteves reduced the arrears after the half-time siren when he crossed over on the left wing. However, the second half was played in exclusively in Portuguese territory as Clark and Pama Fou gave the Aussies an unassailable lead.

Shannon Walker, returning to World Series action after a 14-month injury lay-off, put the icing on the cake on full time when he left the opposition defence dazed and confused as he scythed through to score right under the posts with his very first touch.

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens Head Coach Geraint John said: "To finish with a score like that against a side like Portugal is very pleasing. They have the ability to upset teams and they did exceptionally well in Las Vegas. It was good to get everybody on the field, including Brad [Wilkin] who got four minutes of action as well as Shannon [Walker].

"I was a bit disappointed with the amount of penalties we gave away in the first half but we showed a lot more composure in the second. Now we have to recover and rest for what will be a very tough game against Scotland tomorrow afternoon."

Qantas Australian Men's Sevens centre Cameron Clark, added: "There are a few things we need to tighten up but it was good for some of our players to get a run - we had a new face out there and it was good to see Shannon Walker back on the field after injury."

Australia play Scotland in their second game of Pool B tomorrow afternoon before rounding off the group stage with a clash against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand. All of the action will be LIVE on FOX SPORTS.

Australia currently sit fourth in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series with three tournaments remaining after the Hong Kong Sevens. Only the top four countries at the end of the season - along with host nation Brazil - qualify automatically for the Rio 2016 Olympics.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens results in Hong Kong, 27 March:

Australia 33-5 Portugal, Pool B

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens fixtures in Hong Kong, 28 March:

Australia v Scotland, Pool B, 3.40pm AEDT

Australia v New Zealand, Pool B, 8.26pm AEDT