Aussie men keep winning run going in Sydney

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia is the only undefeated team in Pool D with one round left, in the box seat for a third-straight Sydney Cup quarter-finals spot after a 27-5 win over Canada.

The Aussies found themselves five points down when Canada scored a try through Justin Douglas, after some confusion over a possible knock-on.

Skipper Lewis Holland found a leveler not long after, with Australia's desperation ultimately paying off in their attacking zone, and two minutes later he was in again to put Australia in the lead.

Australia's ill-discipline gave Canada opportunities after the half-time whistle, but they kept the North Americans at bay with some strong defence.

It was an arm wrestle in the second before Tim Anstee showed off some flashy footwork to step out of reach of the Canadian defenders and put a 12-point gap between the sides.

The 198cm, 98kg  Anstee stepped out of his direct opponents, adding another to his impressive list of Sydney highlights, after a quickfire hat-trick in 2017.

I called that play, got the ball in my hands and found myself with the line," he said.

"I'm not renowned for my stepping but got a bit of a right foot step on me out there and then lost two and I actually didn't see the bloke behind me and I was like 'woah, here we go' and sort of had to weave in and just lucky I got there in the end."

A clever Maurice Longbottom carry put John Porch in space and the latter streaked away to score Australia's fourth, before evergreen James Stannard sealed the game with a last-minute try that kept Australia's perfect record intact through the weekend.

Though Australia racked up a score it was their defence that was most impressive and Anstee said that was a goal of the team.

The Aussies were desperate in defence on Saturday. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"We talk a lot about being unrelenting, it's one of our theme words and I think especially towards the end there, the boys didn't knock off.," he said.

"We were pretty tired but there was lots of phases there and the boys just kept putting their body on the line and not let them in at the end there was brilliant."

The win over Canada, who have been decimated by injuries, was a significant one for Australia, in a pool logjam, and handed them crucial momentum after a full day's break between matches.

"They're all must-win games out there. Scotland lost their last one, so it's going to be do or die for us again out there," he said.

"To get that win builds a bit more confidence for us and hopefully heading into this last one, we'll stay on top of our game and execute again.

"I'm not sure if the boys just lift for this one or it's that home ground vantage but we seem to get up for the games out here and hopefully we can keep that momentum going."

A win against Scotland at 8:04pm AEDT would guarantee Australia top spot in Pool D, setting up a quarter-final clash against New Zealand or Fiji on Sunday.

Keep up with all the Sydney 7s action in our live blog.

RESULT

Australia 27

Tries: Holland 2, Anstee, Porch, Stannard

Cons: Stannard

Canada 5

Tries: Douglas