Australia to play for third place

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

Australia will play off for third place at the Canada Sevens, after losing to New Zealand 28-19 in Vancouver.

A slow start hurt the Aussies, with the green and gold men unable to recover from an early 14-0 deficit that put them on the back foot.

New Zealand captain Tim Mikkelson and Gillies Kaka were the scorers for the Kiwis in the opening four minutes, presenting Australia with an uphill challenge.

Stand-in Aussie captain Lewis Holland worked hard to create some attacking opportunities and ultimately his side's doggedness paid off, with a try to Con Foley.

Foley scored in the corner in the sixth minute, finishing an attacking passage  that started after Allan Fa’alava’au pounced on a loose ball on the opposite side.

Youngster Henry Hutchison used every inch of his reach to steal Australia’s second right on half-time, adding to his tournament tally and narrowing the margin at the break to just two points.

Sione Molia proved to be Australia’s ultimate destroyer, with two second-half tries from the new Zealander putting a win out of reach of their trans-Tasman rivals.

Australia never gave up, with James Stannard snatching a score back for his team with one minute to go, leaving them with two scores to make in the final minute.

The challenge proved too much for Australia, who will face Fiji in a third place play off, while New Zealand takes on South Africa in the final.

Australia will play Fiji in the third place playoff at 11:26am AEDT LIVE on FOX SPORTS.