Men's Sevens qualify for Rio

by staff

Australia’s men’s sevens team has qualified for the Rio Olympics, with a 50-0 win over Tonga in the final of the Oceania qualifier.

The Aussies withstood some early pressure from the Tongans before taking control of the match.

A double to Pama Fou set the tone for the Aussies as they opened up a 31-0 half-time lead, with tries to Jesse Parahi and captain Ed Jenkins stretching the margin.

Australia proved themselves as the dominant team in the tournament going through undefeated in Auckland.

After topping Pool A on the opening day, the Aussies defeated American Samoa 52-0 to open the knock out stages and setting up a semi-final clash against Papua New Guinea.

A 36-0 victory in the semi-final set them on track for the match up against Tonga, who had proven a competitive match up in the pool stages.

While the Aussies scored heavily themselves, their defence was most impressive, with the side letting in just one try through the tournament.

Interim men’s coach Tim Walsh said the qualification was a weight off their shoulders.

“We're very pleased,” he said.

“The boys put in a ruthless performance in that last game and it was just desserts for the effort they have put in - not only in the last three months with me, but for the last three or four years too.

"This is a great way to start a new chapter, a new stage in what will be a massive year with the Olympics at the end of it.

"It's a weight off everyone's shoulders [qualifying for Rio] - if you look at it in a positive way, then these players will be battle-hardened and more able to handle those pressure situations."

Jenkins said the side's ability to keep the faith through the qualifying process was testament to its character, also paying tribute to Walsh post-match.

The men's side join the women’s team in the Rio 2016 line up, with the 2016 World Series kicking off next month.