Aussies progress despite late loss to irresistible Fijians

by staff

The Qantas Australian Men's side has qualified for the Cup Quarter-Finals of the Gold Coast Sevens despite losing to a rampaging Fiji side (35-12) in the final match of Day One at Cbus Super Stadium.

A late Cameron Clark double reduced the arrears for Geraint's John men after Fiji - buoyed by a noisy following from the stands - had raced into a 35-point lead early in the second period. The defeat means Australia will play Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists South Africa in a mouthwatering clash tomorrow for a place in the Cup Semi-Finals.

Geraint John said: "That last game was disappointing but we did a lot of things right in those first two games against Portugal and Scotland. There's only one team that can play like Fiji and that's Fiji. We tried to play like them a bit in that first half but in the second half we went back to the game we know works for us and did far better. Sammy Myers came on in the second half, impressed, and really challenged Fiji in the contact area.

"South Africa? Yes, it will be a tough game but tomorrow's a new day and I'm confident we'll put on a show."

Earlier, in Geraint John's first game as Head Coach of the Australian side in an IRB Sevens World Series tournament, five tries from five different players saw off the challenge of Portugal (29-0). Pama Fou opened his account for the season before Ed Jenkins crossed over for his 66th try in the green and gold. Con Foley increased the home side's advantage just before the break.

2013/14 HSBC Sevens Dream Team member Cameron Clark outpaced the Portuguese defence early in the second period and Sam Myers put the icing on the cake in the left hand corner with two minutes left on the clock.

Australia recovered from a 9-point half-time deficit to overcome a gallant Scotland side and secure a spot in tomorrow's Cup Quarter-Finals. James Stannard opened the scoring early on. The Aussies' bogey side, however, lodged a spirited fightback with Scott Riddell and James Johnstone scoring against the home-town boys. Australia responded strongly after the half-time interval, stunning the Scots with three quick tries. Cam Clark and Pama Fou (2) sealed the win (24-14).

Pama Fou, scorer of three tries against Portugal and Scotland, said: "The first two games were good for me, but all credit to the boys for setting me up.

Against Scotland, we've had them a fair few times over the last couple of years and they always cause us a problem or two. We were a bit slow at the start but it was good to come through that game in the end."

Elsewhere on Day One at the Gold Coast Sevens, Argentina were the surprise packet after stunning England in the opening game of the tournament on their way toping top Pool D and setting up a Cup Quarter-Final clash with Samoa. In the other Cup Quarter-Finals, New Zealand will play England and Fiji meet Wales.

Fans can buy tickets for Day Two of the Gold Coast Sevens on the gate at Cbus Super Stadium, prices starting from $35. If you are unable to make it to the ground, all of the Gold Coast Sevens is being broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 2 (from 9.15am local / 10.15am NSW)

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens results in Gold Coast, Australia, 11 October:

Australia 29-0 Portugal, Pool C

Australia 24-14 Scotland, Pool C

Australia 12-35 Fiji, Pool C

Australian Men’s Sevens fixture in Gold Coast, Australia, 12 October:

Australia v South Africa, Cup Quarter-Final, (11.54am local / 12.54pm NSW)