Hamilton Sevens: Australia finish seventh after error-strewn loss to Scotland

Mens - Hamilton
by RUGBY.com.au staff

Australia were their own worst enemies in crashing to Scotland in the fifth-placed semi-final in Hamilton.

Defensive errors and unforced mistakes hurt the Aussies badly, who rallied from 19-7 to be just four points behind with 100 seconds left.

But a kick out on from the re-start helped Scotland finish the game with another try.

They will have to pick themselves up - and fix the mistakes - in time for the Sydney Sevens next week, where they are aiming to defend their title.

1.48pm: Scotland 24 - Australia 14

Self-inflicted punishment continued to plague Australia as they crashed to a 24-14 defeat against Scotland in the fifth-placed semi-final.

Needing to win the clash with Scotland to bank as many points from New Zealand as possible, the Australian side missed way too many tackles and produced coach-killing errors to beat the plucky Scots.

Australia scored first through Lachie Anderson but they failed to capitalise further, even after a string on Scottish mistakes in the first-half.

Missed tackles cost the Aussies in their quarter-final loss to New Zealand and it was more of the same against the Scots, who feasted on defensive errors to score two tries before halftime and lead 12-7 at the break.

Lost-restarts and yet more missed tackles led to Scotland’s Max McFarland scoring his second after the break, and at 19-7 it was uphill for Australia.

Maurice Longbottom finally scored a second for Australia with two minutes left and suddenly it was game-on.

But after Australia kicked the re-start out on the full, Scotland took advantage and scored a game-sealing try in the dying moments. 

It was Scotland's first win over Australia since 2015.

10.20am: New Zealand 24 - Australia 17

Australia paid the price for poor discipline and a lack of physicality in contact by getting beaten 24-17 by New Zealand in the quarter-finals of the Hamilton Sevens.

Continuing their concerning trend of not carrying day one form into the business end of a tournament on day two, the Aussies gave up too many tries in the first half for a late second-half comeback to count.

Australia were missing Ben O'Donnell to injury, and a yellow card to Maurice Longbottom for an intentional knock-down in the third minute proved very costly, with the Kiwis running into two tries in his absence through Dylan Collier and Jona Nareki.

The Australians made life tough for themselves with missed tackles, too, and with many too many soldiers often on the ground at the breakdown, the New Zealanders made the Aussies pay.

When Australia finally got hold of some possession, they repeatedly lost it courtesy of New Zealand counter-rucking and the first half finished disastrously when a lineout on their own line - after the siren - was stolen and the Kiwis ran in a third for a 17-0 halftime lead.

The Aussies tried to mount a fightback in the second half, and with some maintained possession and some attacking runs challenging the line, Simon Kennewell scored in the corner.

The Aussies needed to score next to stay in the fight but more simple one-on-one missed tackles allowed Tim Mikkleson to score the Kiwis’ fourth try and push back out to a 24-5 lead.

The game was lost but Australia managed to make the scoreboard respectable when they finally went direct instead of lateral and scored two late tries through Lewis Holland and debutant Josh Coward.

Australia must now consolidate and secure the points on offer for fifth place, and they will play Scotland in the 5th place semi-final at 1.48pm.

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