Aussie Sevens back Cam Clark ignited his own army and the Sydney 7s crowd with a hat-trick as the home crowd opened its Sydney 7s campaign with a 24-7 win over Portugal.
Clark has his own personal support in the crowd, impressing his hundred-strong Clarky Army with two tries in front of them, as well as the final try of the match to seal the Aussie win.
Allan Fa’alava’au broke up Clark’s monopoly on the scorecard, with a second half try that finished off some positive attacking work.
With a sold-out crowd and plenty of hype around the inaugural Sydney event in the lead-up, Clark said it was a relief to be able to get the first match out of the way.
“I guess there’s been a lot of expectation around this week as well, it’s first time it’s come to Sydney in front of a big crowd,” he said
“So it’s definitely good to get the first win out of the way.”
Australia will have plenty to build on ahead of its second match against Canada, coughing up a handful of opportunities deep in their attacking territory.
“There were a few dropped balls we should have capitalised on,” Clark said.
“We had a lot of possession and I think we could have gone a bit more than 14-0.
“It’s definitely a lot to work on coming into the next couple of games today.”
Their next opponents, Canada, put a scare through New Zealand earlier in the day before losing 27-12, something that Clark said the Aussies would be wary of.
“Canada have proven to be a really good side over the years and I guess on the day they’re good enough to beat anyone as well,” he said.
“It’s definitely not an easy game.”
Current series leaders South Africa came away with a win in their first game, beating Scotland 33-7, while Fiji clinched the first Sydney 7s match 33-7 over Samoa.
It was a mixed day for the Blitzboks, though, losing captain Philip Snyman and Kwagga Smith through injury, with the pair out for the rest of the weekend.
Australia will face Canada at 5:32pm AEDT, broadcast LIVE on FOX SPORTS 2 502.