Oceania 7s: Double gold for Aussies in Suva

by RUGBY.com.au

Australia have scooped the pool at the Oceania Sevens with gold in the men's and women's competition finals.

It was a double delight for the Aussie men, who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics with a 19-12 win over Samoa earlier in the day.

Both sides came from behind to win their finals against Fiji's teams.

Australia's women took home the gold medal. Photo: Oceania RugbyThe Aussie women trailed 12-0 in their championship final against FIjiana and stormed home with a 24-0 second-half to claim the gold medal.

That victory came after two wins over New Zealand in as many days, a huge boost of confidence for a young team.

The men came into their final with a job already ticked off in the form of Olympic qualification but they weren't done with their success.

Australia trailed Fiji 7-5 before taking a 22-7  victory overall in the championship final.


Men's Championship final

Australia 22

Fiji 7

Women's Championship final

Australia 24

Fijiana 12


Australia's men have survived an almighty scare to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a 19-12 win over Samoa.

Trailing by 12 points at half-time, Australia were staring down the barrel of a devastating outcome but a Samoa red card and 19 unanswered second-half points secured Australia's ticket to Tokyo.

It took a sensational Lewis Holland charge down in the 13th minute to snatch the lead and qualification, relieving the pressure on the Australian men.

Samoa's physicality rattled the Australians, who were their own worst enemy at times in attack as well.

It was a near-perfect start for Australia with a clinical kick-off putting them deep in attack, before a Samoa high tackle left the Pacific Islanders a man down.

Some brutal Samoa defence and wet conditions meant that Australia couldn't convert their one-man advantage to any points, with Maurice Longbottom knocking on in attack.

Samoa struck first, beating Longbottom on the outside to power to the opening try in the fourth minute.

The Aussies had their best attacking chance in the fifth minute but a misjudged pass put the ball right back in Samoa's hands.

A runaway Samoa score just before half-time left Australia in a 12-point hole at the break.

Australia finally got themselves on the board in the ninth minute with a Henry Hutchison score, after a sloppy lead-up.

Samoa were handed a second yellow card, for a neck roll, resulting in a red card and giving Australia every advantage in the final minutes.

Lachie Anderson duly squared things up, off a Nick Malouf break, with three minutes left in the match.

Captain Lewis Holland pulled off an incredible charge down to score in the final 90 seconds and give Australia the lead for the first time in the match, and that was enough to win.


Australia 19

Samoa 12


Australia's women have won the Oceania invitational title after beating New Zealand 12-0 for the second time in two days.

The Aussies beat the Kiwis on day two of the competition before both teams qualified for the title decider on Saturday.

Australia's defence laid the foundations in the early stages and they capitalized on opportunities when they arose in attack.

New Zealand heaped pressure on the Australian defence and the Aussies stood up to the challenge in slippery conditions.

It took until the fifth minute for the Aussies to break the deadlock with Faith Nathan breaking away to score.

The Aussies were under pressure immediately in the second half, with New Zealand claiming a try after an Australian pass went into the in-goal and the Kiwis pounced.

Sariah Paki, though, managed to boot the ball into touch just in the nick of time, relieving the pressure valve.

Paki flipped the momentum on its head less than a minute later, streaking to the line after Cassie Staples forced a penalty at the breakdown.

New Zealand were dealt a blow with superstar Portia Woodman pulling up sore midway through the half as well.

Australia had their own injury worry late in the game with Rhiannon Byers exiting the game after a heavy clash with what appeared to be a shoulder injury.

The Aussies will play in the overall championship final at 6:19pm AEDT, facing the winner of the Olympic division.


Australia 12

New Zealand 0


All times AEDT

Saturday November 9

2:30pm - Australian women vs New Zealand

3:36pm - Australian men vs Samoa