Aussies turn in disappointing display on finals day

Mens - London
by Sam Phillips

Australia has been knocked out of the London 7s after consecutive defeats to England and New Zealand.

The heartbreaking loss to the tournament hosts in the Cup quarter final was followed by a very poor performance against New Zealand in the fifth place playoff semi final, signalling the end to the London campaign.

Here's how both matches panned out.

11:45pm - Fifth place playoff semi final - New Zealand 38 Australia 7

New Zealand dominated the first term, Kurt Baker, Tim Mikkelson and Scott Curry all adding their names to the scoresheet after exploiting the Australians out wide.

That opened up a 19-0 lead but as the half time siren sounded Baker was shown a yellow card - handing the Aussies a chance to get back in the game.

A Maurice Longbottom break couldn't be turned into points, though, and when Regan Ware crossed as play resumed, the result was beyond doubt.


Boyd Killingworth finally put the Aussies on the board when a swift stop-start move left two Kiwis clutching at air but more missed tackles on Mikkelson followed and predictably, New Zealand were in again.

Ware crossed again as the final siren sounded, bringing an end to Australia's time in London.

Too many missed first up tackles, poor passing execution and an inability to recover restarts left the Australians with close to no hope in an uncharacteristically poor performance.

9:25pm - Cup quarter final - England 21 Australia 17

A wayward Australian lineout provided turnover ball for England and Mike Ellery made the Aussies pay, chipping, chasing, regathering and running 70 metres to score under the posts.

Lachie Anderson had an immediate response for the Australians, Sam Meyers plucking the kick off and passing to John Porch, who found Tim Anstee, who had Anderson screaming through in support.

A huge try saver from Dan Norton on Ben O'Donnell stopped the Australians from securing their first lead but superb defence forced England into touch in goal and with a scrum from five metres out, superb sub Maurice Longbottom scooted down the left sideline to open up a 12-7 lead.


O'Donnell forced a turnover from the second half restart but a stray penalty kick from Lewi Holland gave Dan Norton the chance to put the home side back in front and he beat Longbottom and Holland en route to the line.

Alex Davis then extended the gap to 21-12 with two minutes to play, placing a perfectly weighted kick in the in goal area, beating Holland to the line and getting the ball down.

Tom Lucas responded by setting up O'Donnell, leaving a four point deficit for the Australians with 30 seconds remaining.

But a botched lineout ended Australia's hopes, knocking them out of the hunt for the Cup.

8:35pm - Day one wrap

ICYMI, here's all the highlights from Australia's pool matches and a full wrap of all the action.