Aussies finish sixth in Las Vegas

by staff

The Australian men's sevens side were knocked out of the cup competitiion at the Las Vegas leg of the world series, going down 29-17 to South Africa in the quarter finals.

The Aussies got off to a good start against the Blitzbokke thanks to two tries to John Porch but couldn't cope with the speed and game nous of Cecil Afrika who scored a vital try and was the centre of much of the good things that the South Africans did.

The games was all tied up at 12-all at the break, but tries to Afrika, Ruhan Nel and Selvyn Davids was too much for the Aussies to cope with as the score blew out to 29-12.

Jeral Skelton provided the final say for the Australians when he scored out wide after some nice work from Lewis Holland but the South African thoroughly deserved to start in the semi finals on Monday against Argentina.

In the other quarter final Fiji accounted for New Zealand 14-10 in a thriller, USA beat England 17-12 and Argentina defeated Kenya by the same margin 17-12.

Those results mean that Fiji will play the USA in one semi final with Argentina and South Africa locking horns in the other.

Meanwhile, Jesse Parahi announced his return to the international sevens world series when he played a bullocking role in the Australian men's side 24-7 win over Samoa in their final pool game on Sunday.

The Aussies needed to win or draw their game against the Samoans on Day Two to make their way through to the Cup quarter-finals and they did that well scoring four tries to one.

The need to win first up on Day Two in Las Vegas came about when they lost heavily to the USA on Day One in their pool match. Earlier they had beaten Spain.

Parahi has been working his way back into Andy Friend's squad after a stint in the NRL with Wests Tigers and a knee injury but all the good robust stuff he is known for were there against Samoa.

He scored the first try of the match and was there when the heavy carries needed to be made against the Samoans.

The Aussies led 12-0 at the break after John Porch scored a nice try in the corner and the game as a contest was over when Lachie Anderson managed to wriggle his way over three minutes into the second half.

The Samoans did get a try on the board to make ther score 17-7 but James Stannard put the game out of reach with a nice run to score near the posts.

The Aussies will play either South Africa or England in their quarter final later today.

"Today was all about making good decisions and getting our defence right," head coach Friend said in the wake of the victory.

"You saw what happened when we didn't get our defence right against the USA yesterday and we didn't want to see that happen again."


Games played Sunday

Pool A

France 31 Russia 7

Fiji 14 Kenya 17

Pool B

Canada 21 Wales 19

South Africa 24 England 19

Pool C

United States 28 Spain 17

Australia 24 Samoa 7

Pool D

Argentina 31 Uruguay 0

New Zealand 26 Scotland 17


Fiji 14 New Zealand 10

United States 17 England 12

Argentina 17 Kenya 12

South Africa 29 Australia 17