Aussie men break Hong Kong duck against Kenya

Mens - Hong Kong
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman in Japan

The Aussie Sevens men have missed out on the Hong Kong Cup quarter-finals after a mixed pool stage.

Australia followed up a shock loss to Spain on Friday night with a heavy defeat at Canada's hands on Saturday afternoon, before breaking their duck against Kenya.

See how day two unfolded.

7:38pm - Australia 28 - Kenya 26

Australia’s men broke their 2018 Hong Kong duck with a 28-26 win over Kenya

It took the Aussies just 20 seconds to score, through Jeral Skelton, in his second of the day, and Dylan Pietsch added to that tally just a minute later in a quickfire start.

Kenya managed a reply as the half ticked on, with the Africans looking to get the momentum back on their side.

A yellow card for Kenya gave Australia an edge but it was Kenya who managed a score just before the break, to level things up.

Lachie Miller had a second-half double for the Aussies, putting them in front by 14 points, before Kenya pegged one back.

A red card for Kenya gave Australia a one-man advantage for the final 30 seconds of the match, but it was Kenya again who scored despite the numerical gap.

Ultimately though, the Aussies’ efforts were enough to hold out their opponents by just two points.

The Aussies were hit with an injury problem earlier in the day, with Nicky Price ruled out of the final match with a concussion, bringing in Nicko Tuvitu for the last clash of the day.

Tuvitu’s injection into the match in the final stages made him Australia’s eighth debutant of the tournament, a sign of just how fresh-faced this side is in Hong Kong.

They await the result of the final clash between Spain and Canada to find out their day three opponents.

3:09pm - Australia 14 - Canada 34

Australia's men went down to Canada. Photo: Hong Kong Sevens MediaIt's been another tough outing for the Aussie men, outclassed by Canada in their second pool match.

In what was Canada's best ever winning margin against Australia, the Canadians dominated proceedings from the early parts of the match.

Harry Jones had a first-half double and Canada's gap only grew after a yellow card for Sam Figg in the first half, with a Connor Braid try making it a 15-point half-time lead.

Australia couldn't snatch the momentum back in the second half, as Justin Douglas clinched his own double, leaving Australia staring down a 27-0 deficit.

Jeral Skelton and Lachlan Miller gave Australia some late consolation but it wasn't enough to clinch victory for Australia.

Canada's win was one of just four they've notched over Australia since 1999, and has ended the young Australians' chances of making the Cup quarter-finals.

2:30pm - Aussies back for day two

The Aussie Sevens have arrived at Hong Kong Stadium for day two of the Hong Kong Sevens

 

TEAM

1. Jeral Skelton, 3 caps, Brothers QLD

2. Dylan Pietsch, 8 caps, Randwick NSW

3. Sam Croke, 1 cap, Randwick NSW

4. Brandon Quinn, 6 caps, Gordon NSW

5. James Armstrong*, Sydney University

6. Henry Clunies-Ross*, Sydney University

7. Nick Price*, Southern Districts

8. Con Foley (c), 42 caps, University of Queensland

9. Sam Figg, 6 caps, Randwick

10. Lachlan Miller*, South Cross University (Coffs Harbour)

11. Matthew McTaggart*, Easts

12. Triston Reilly*, Randwick

13th man. Harrison Goddard*, Randwick

FIXTURES

Saturday April 7

Australia vs Canada, 2:48pm AEST

Australia vs Kenya, 7:10pm AEST