Aussies back from the dark side to top pool

Sun, Mar 11, 2018, 3:51 AM
by AAP
It was a rollercoaster of a day for the Aussies with two wins and a draw enough to see them top their pool in Vancouver. They'll now play South Africa for a spot in the Cup semi-finals at 6:08am AEDT.

A second half hat-trick of tries from John Porch has rocketed the Australian men's sevens side into the cup quarter-finals after the Aussies defeated the USA 31-21 in the final game of Day One at the Canada 7s in Vancouver on Sunday.

The Australians went into the game against the USA knowing that they would have to either grab a win or a draw and at one stage either of those two possibilities seemed unlikely with the Aussies trailing 21-7 at the break and not respecting the possession that they in the first seven minutes.

They ended up topping Pool A and in the process knocked the home team Canada out of the cup competition.

But at one stage that seemed highly unlikely and Aussie coach Andy Friend had to get the right message across at the halftime break and within three minutes of the game re-starting it was all tied up at 21-all.

Then in a major blow to the Americans, their superstar Perry Baker was sin-binned for throwing the ball into touch after he had been tackled by James Stannard.

The Australians worked their time with the extra man well and that man Porch was able to add two great five pointers to the try that he scored earlier in the half.

They will now take on South Africa in what will be an intriguing encounter at 5.08am on Monday.

In the other quarter finals Fiji will take on Argentina, New Zealand will play the USA and England will play Kenya.

Australia v Uruguay

Four tries from Australian men's sevens skipper Lewis Holland helped the Aussies to a 50-17 win over Uruguay in their second match on Day One of the Canada 7s in Vancouver on Sunday.

Holland took his tally of tries on the world series to 90 with two in the first half and then a quick double after the break as the Australians looked to fortify their for and against after their first game draw against Canada.

The Aussies opened the scoring in the first minute with a nicely worked five pointer from James Stannard and by the time the first seven minutes elapsed they were leading 24-7.

It was more of the same after the break and with a couple of minutes left on the clock the Aussies led 50-7.

But Uruguay weren't going to take that lying down and hit back with two nice tries to reduce the Aussies' for and against to +33, a vital statistic considering that Pool A will go right down to the wire.

Canada v Australia

A try after the bell saw the Aussies held to a 19-all draw against Canada in their first match of Day One.

The Aussies had held a 19-12 lead and were deep on attack when the Canadians got their hands on the ball and pushed it to the right for Nathan Hirayama to release John Moonlight who ran a touch under 50m and score under the posts.

Hirayama's subsequent conversion then sent the capacity crowd at BC Place into raptures and gave the final scoreline.

The result means that this tournament's "pool of death" got even tighter with the Aussies contending with the locals, Las Vegas champions the USA and wild card Uruguay.

The Australians got off to a flying start when John Porch was able to regather the kick-off from James Stannard and scoot 40m to score under the posts.That gave the Aussies a 7-0 lead and silenced the big crowd but they soon found their voice when Hirayama scored and then Pat Kay crossed to give the Canadians a 12-7 lead at the break.

After the break Porch was again in the action when he got some space on the right hand side but his kick through had too much on it and went over the dead ball line.

But from the ensuing scrum the Australians snatched a rare tighthead and Ben O'Donnell was able to skip over near the posts.

That made the score 14-12 in favour of the Aussies and with the Canadian deep on the attack Stannard was able to snaffle a ball at the back of the locals' breakdown and after a number of passes O'Donnell went over out wide.

It was a contentious call from referee Craig Evans and set the scene for the overtime heroics of Moonlight.

The Australians next game will be against South Africa at 5.08am AEDT on Monday - all games will be telecast LIVE on FOX SPORTS

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