Aussies book Hamilton quarter-final berth

Mens - Hamilton
by Sam Phillips

The opening day of Hamilton 7s action is in the books and Australia have done enough to secure a Cup quarter final berth.

The Aussies beat Spain and Wales but couldn't overcome their string of 11 straight losses at the hands of the Fijians, relegating them to second place in Pool A.

They will face Kenya tomorrow at 11:20am AEDT in a Cup quarter final.

Here's how all the action panned out.

7:45pm - Friend, Myers react to day one results



6:35pm - The finals equation


The stage is set for tomorrow's Cup quarter finals.

FIXTURES

Hamilton 7s Cup quarter finals

10:36am AEDT - Fiji vs Samoa

10:58am AEDT - New Zealand vs England

11:20am AEDT - Australia vs Kenya

11:42am AEDT - South Africa vs Scotland

6:20pm - Australia 26 Fiji 15

Australia have fallen to Fiji for the 11th straight time, relegating them to second place in Pool A.

The Aussies will now face Kenya in a Cup quarter final clash, with a Sydney 7s final rematch against the Blitzboks the likely semi-final showdown.

Here's how the Aussies fell to a Fijian side that has lifted another level after a disappointing Sydney showing.

A suspect offload put Eroni Sau away in the opening minute and Fiji immediately hit the front.Tim Anstee nabbed a double against Fiji. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyAustralia returned serve through Tim Anstee, who put the finishing touch on a drive into the Fijian 22 that he set up with a right foot step and palm combination.

Anstee had a double one minute later, Lachie Anderson setting up the space with a slicing run that beat three Fijian defenders.

The Fijians wouldn't be denied a 12-10 half time lead, though, scoring a scintillating try from their own 22 that featured flick passes, goose steps and fast feet from every player on the park.

The Aussies regained ascendency immediately after the break and a half break from Maurice Longbottom turned into a Lachie Anderson try, giving the Australians a 15-12 with five to play.

True to form Fiji immediately hit back through Jasa Veremalua, who was the beneficiary of a quick fire burst from Amenoni Nasilasila, before Eroni Sau scored after the siren to put the result beyond doubt.

3:40pm - All eyes on Fiji

Fresh off a double in Australia's second win for the day, Ben O'Donnell said the Aussies are turning their attention to the flying Fijians.


2:45pm - Australia 26 Wales 7

A Ben O'Donnell double has kicked Australia clear of a frenetic Welsh side in their second pool match.

A frantic first half was a scoreless one as well, Wales applying serious heat with ball in hand but Australia clinging on to tackles to ensure they started the second term on a level playing field.

The Aussies repelled several raids deep in their own half but couldn't generate any continuity with ball in hand.

It took an O'Donnell burst, pass to Lachie Anderson and follow up from O'Donnell to break the deadlock - Anderson showing brilliant initiative to pop the ball off the ground five out from the Welsh line.Ben O'Donnell is in fine form at Hamilton. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyMaurice Longbottom was injected into the fold moments prior to the break and he was the next to score, Sam Myers fighting through two tackles and offloading to the rookie to open up a 14-0 break with three to play.

Wales hit back to set up an intriguing finish but they made a big mistake giving Charlie Taylor space inside their own 22, as he scored to seal the result after Myers plucked the kick off and set off down field.

O'Donnell nabbed a double after the siren, keeping Australia's slate clean in Hamilton.

11:20am - Australia 21 Spain 5

Australia are on the board but they didn't have it all their own way against a Spanish side that played with plenty of attacking flair.

Spain claimed the opening kick off but soon gifted the ball back to the Aussies with a wayward, forward pass.

Australia took full advantage, setting up shop in the Spanish 22 before Tom Lucas dropped the ball inside to Ben O'Donnell, who sliced the line and scored the first points of the match under the posts.


The Aussies were scrappy in their ball handling and passing for the remainder of the first term, Spain scoring a showtime try 90 seconds after the half time siren to trail 7-5 at the break.

Coach Andy Friend gave the Aussies a serve in the half time huddle and it worked wonders, as the Australians settled into their work before Lucas set up another try.

This time he split the line himself, drew the final defender and put Tom Connor away for his first World Series try.

Tom Lucas starred against Spain. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleySpain threatened to return serve but some willing Australian defence ensured Lucas would have the final say.

He set up Lachie Anderson for the sealer with a carbon copy of the move that put O'Donnell in, securing a scrappy win.

10:30am - Jersey presentation

The jerseys have been presented, not long now until the Aussies get their Hamilton campaign underway.


10:28am - Aussies in the zone

Here's a little something to get the competitive juices flowing prior the opening pool match.


10:20am - Aussie fixtures

Here's when the Aussie boys will take to the field today.

10:58am AEDT - Australia vs Spain

2:24pm AEDT - Australia vs Wales

5:50pm AEDT - Australia vs Fiji

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