Australian men’s sevens coach Andy Friend endured a day of massive highs and massive lows but is confident as his side heads to a cup quarter-final showdown with South Africa in the early hours of Monday morning (AEDT).
The Aussies scored four tries in the second half of their critical match against the USA - three of them from John Porch - to win 31-21 and top the standings in Pool A at the Canada 7s in Vancouver.
They needed to win or draw against the Americans after patchy form earlier in the day had seen them draw 19-all with home team Canada and notch a 50-17 win over wild card team Uruguay.
“There were some massive highs and some massive lows out there today, but that’s just part of the world of sevens rugby,” a relieved Friend said after the game against the USA.
“I thought we did some good things against Canada and then at the end we gave that game away.
“Against Uruguay there was some good stuff but we leaked a few late tries in that game.
“That put us under pressure against the USA but we came home with an absolute wet sail.”
Friend added that the team that respected possession would put themselves in the box set to go deep into the cup competition.
“Tomorrow’s a brand new day and we’ve got to respect the footy and keep our defence in order,” Friend said.
“We know that we can beat these teams but we’ve just got to stay composed even if sides go one or two scores up.”
The South Africans gave the Aussies a “bit of a touch up” when they last met - in the the cup quarter-finals at Las Vegas - winning 29-17 and are a side that is topping the series ladder.
The Aussies sit in fourth place and are a team on the move.
In the other quarter finals Fiji will take on Argentina, New Zealand will play the USA and England will play Kenya.
The Aussies will play South Africa in their cup quarter-final which will kick-off at 5.08am on Monday (AEDT). All matches will be telecast LIVE on FOX Sports.