Aussie Sevens dominate in Las Vegas

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia is assured of a Cup quarter-final spot after an undefeated run through the first day of the Las Vegas Sevens.

The Aussies defeated Scotland (26-0) and Japan (35-5) on the first installment of the three-day tournament, putting them squarely on top of the pool after Japan and England had a surprise draw.

Former Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper made his much-hyped debut in the Sevens squad, showing some promise in a brief stint in the opening match.

Cooper was more settled in the second win against Japan, replacing Tom Lucas (knee) in the match, and adding points through conversions.

Lucas was dealt a devastating blow on the day, likely to be ruled out for the rest of the season after being stretchered off the ground with that injury.

Australian coach Andy Friend said he was pleased with the shutdown ability his team showed in their opening two matches.

“I thought our defence was really impressive today,” he said.

“We were disciplined in defence and clinical in attack.”

Friend praised Cooper and returning face Pat McCutcheon, who scored his first Sevens try in five years in his comeback.

“It was so pleasing that Pat could get 14 minutes under his belt against Japan while Quade felt a lot better in that second game too.

“He’s a quality footballer, no doubt about that.”

The Aussies will face a tough final pool match against England at 8:46am on Sunday morning (AEDT).

England will be keen for revenge after Australia took a thrilling extra-time win in the team’s last match up in Sydney and Friend said it was pivotal to keep their winning roll going.

“We have two games tomorrow and we have done nothing yet – absolutely nothing,” he said.

“First up we have an England team that will no doubt come out firing after what was a tough day for them.

“We’ll then have a Quarter-Final against either Fiji, Argentina or Samoa.”

Each match of the USA Sevens will be LIVE on FOX SPORTS FOUR 505.