Parahi impresses in trial games

by Steve Stammers

Australian Men's Sevens coach Andy Friend was full of praise for Sevens stalwart Jesse Parahi after the senior side notched two wins from two in Tuesday's games against the Australian Development side.

"He was very dominant in that second game," said Friend.

"In fact I'd go so far as to say he was the difference between the two sides. He carried strong and he was busy in his defence and got around the park well.

"Jesse’s coming along very nicely. You can see him getting his confidence with every game. It's great to see. He'll get more minutes tomorrow which will only be a good thing for him."

Parahi was pleased with the way his return to Sevens was progressing after eight months in the NRL.

 "I've been working towards trying to play that 14 minutes and I'm getting closer and closer to being able to tick that box well," he said.

"On my own game, it's a work-in-progress. I'm happy to be back and I'm working hard to make sure I'm where I need to be.”

The 27-year-old added that the team needed to find some overall improvement as the Rio Olympics near.

"We were turned over a few times in that second match today and we can't afford to be doing that," he said.

Australia saw off their well-organised Development counterparts in two keenly contested games at the Sydney Academy of Sport on Tuesday.

Tom Cusack was among the scorers in the 25-7 win in the afternoon game before Parahi and Pama Fou impressed - both scoring five-pointers - in the evening fixture in a 24-5 victory.

However, Friend believed there would be plenty of improvement left in his charges following the day's play.

"We did quite well in the dry conditions, particularly defensively with Sam Myers coming to the fore - but in the later game, in heavy, dewy conditions it was a little more scrappy and we didn't do the basics well enough. While we came away from the game winning four tries to one, we weren't as clinical as we needed to be."

Elsewhere among the returning players, Nick Malouf continued his return to Sevens action captaining the team in the first game of the day and gaining more crucial minutes as he looks to build match fitness.

The six-match series concludes against the Australian Development side featuring players from Premier Rugby and emerging players from across the country concludes tomorrow with national Sevens regulars Ed Jenkins, James Stannard, Cameron Clark and Henry Hutchison all expected to be handed game time by Head Coach Andy Friend.



Day one

Australia 40 Development 12

Australia 41 Development 0

Day two

Australia 25 Development 7

Australia 24 Development 5

Match Timings (Day 3)

Wednesday 15 June: Game 5 – 10.00am; Game 6 - 1.30pm