Oceania 7s: Aussie men two-from-two in Suva after opening day

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Australia's men have finished the opening day of the Oceania 7s with a perfect record after beating Vanuatu and Nauru.

The Aussies piled 111 points and conceded just one converted try in the day one action, keeping them on track for the all-important Olympic berth.

Only the winner of this tournament secures that spot and Australia has no margin for error in Suva.

Their main rivals for the Tokyo berth are Samoa, who are also on track to top their pool after winning their matches on Thursday.

Australia's women also enjoyed a win in their invitational tournament, beating Canada 19-5 earlier in the day.

All the day two action kicks off on Friday morning.

5:21pm - MEN - Australia vs Nauru

Aussie Sevens debutant Josh Turner starred with a hat-trick as the men romped to a 59-0 win over Nauru.

Australia remains on track to face Samoa in Saturday’s competition’s final after a dominant opening day in Suva.

Turner had Australia’s first after just 45 seconds, finishing off a super set play. Josh Coward took a quick tap in the third minute to score Australia’s second of the day.

A quick spread from the Aussies put Turner over again in the fifth minute.

Simon Kennewell mopped up a Nauru error to score an opportunistic try.

Jack Maddocks made it two tries from two matches when Henry Hutchison set him up to score.

Ben O’Donnell was injected into the game in the back half and made an immediate impact, acting as link man for a Joe Pincus try.

Turner has his third in the 11th minute and Kennewell took the Aussies past the 50-point mark with his second.

Coward finished the game off with a sneaky pick up from a scrum against the feed.

While their attack would have given them plenty to celebrate, just as significant was their ability to shut out Nauru, something they weren't able to do in their opening match against Vanuatu.

Samoa still shapes as their major rivals, on track to top the other pool in the competition and play off against Australia in Saturday's final.

The Aussies play American Samoa in their next match on Thursday at 12:36pm AEDT.

RESULT

Australia 59

Nauru 0

1:18pm - WOMEN - Australia vs Canada

Australia's women have taken a 19-5 win over Canada in their opening match in Suva on Thursday.

With Olympic qualification already wrapped up, Australia is competing in an invitational tournament in Suva along side the Canadians, Japan and New Zealand.

The Aussies burst out of the blocks with an early try against Canada at ANZ Stadium and they didn't look back after that.

Canada notched one try to narrow the gap just before half-time but that was the only score they managed.

Australia dominated possession and territory in the second half with Cassie Staples and Haji Mosby scoring tries.

The Aussies had another attacking chance in the final minute but Canada's defence held strong to keep Australia out and Mahalia Murphy booted the ball into touch to end the game.

Australia's women take on New Zealand on Friday at 11:06am AEDT.

RESULT

Australia 19

Canada 5

11:29 AM - MEN - Australia vs Vanuatu

Australia’s men began their Oceania Sevens campaign with a big 52-7 win over Vanuatu.

Henry Hutchison, Ben O'Donnell and Simon Kennewell all nabbed doubles for the Aussies in a dominant display against the tournament minnows.

Henry Hutchison was brought down just shy of the line just 30 seconds into the match but he didn’t have any trouble crossing a minute later after the Aussies disrupted a Vanuatu lineout. Maurice Longbottom took the ball wide and Hutchison was waiting on the wing to run it over.

Hutchison made it a double in the fourth minute, again finishing off a Longbottom setup.

It wasn’t a perfect display from the Aussies in their opener, still left to rue some basic mistakes at restarts and with handling. None of those errors cost them, though, against the amateur Vanuatu.

A Vanuatu yellow card put Australia a man up and a quick Longbottom lineout throw-in put Joe Pincus in for a straightforward try.

An error on a restart gave Vanuatu the chance to build an attack and Australia's defenders were left to watch on as the Pacific Islanders scored their first just before half-time.

Simon Kennewell struck twice after half-time, finishing off some patient attacking work from Australia, stretching the lead to 24 points, and made it a double not long after that.

Ben O'Donnell scored Australia's sixth of the afternoon off some strong restart work before Jack Maddocks iced the game in the 14th minute, finishing some darting Hutchison attack.

There was time for one more score and it was O’Donnell who nabbed it after a Kennewell break.

Australia play Nauru in their second pool match at 4:58pm AEDT.

RESULT

Australia 52

Vanuatu 7 

SCHEDULE

All times AEDT.

Thursday November 7

Men

11:06am - Australia vs Vanuatu

4:58pm - Australia vs Nauru

Women

12:56pm - Australia vs Canada

Friday November 8

Men

12:34pm - Australia vs America Samoa

4:58pm - Australia vs Tonga

Women

11:06am - Australia vs New Zealand

3:08pm - Australia vs Japan