LA Sevens: Aussies to meet Ireland in Cup quarters after perfect opening day

Sun, Mar 1, 2020, 4:27 AM
Beth Newman
by Beth Newman
Australia’s men have topped Pool C at the LA Sevens to set up a quarter-final clash with Ireland on day two.

Australia’s men have topped Pool C at the LA Sevens to set up a quarter-final clash with Ireland on day two.

The Aussies have recorded three comprehensive victories in LA on one of their strongest days on the World Series this season.

Lachie Miller led the way for Australia, sparking attack in every game, while Trae Williams and Rod Davies showed their pace.

While two opening victories against Scotland and Samoa, respectively, were important it was Australia's last win of the day, against hosts USA, that showed the danger they could pose in the competition.

Importantly as well, that result ensured they would avoid South Africa in their quarter-final and instead take on Ireland.

Aussie captain Nick Malouf admitted there was a sense of vengeance for his side in the USA win, just a month after the Americans towelled Australia up in the Sydney 7s.

"Yeah we got our pants pulled down by the USA on our home turf  and that hurt us a fair bit, so there massive motivation for us to come out here and reciprocate that.

"They'v got the support of the crowd, they would have been wanting to play well.

"I know what it felt like when my family and friends and my ffiancee were there to watch us get smoked, it hurt.

"We wanted to put on a clinical performance in all the games today and I think we did that."

Australia displayed some of the best rugby they have put on the park in their matches on day one but that will mean little if they can't get past the quarter-final stage on Monday (AEDT).

Malouf said they were conscious of the critical juncture facing them.

"That's the nature of sevens, isn’t it?," he said.

"We've got to move on, we've got a  huge job against Ireland in the morning and historically that's been where we’ve let it slip.

"We've had a strong day one and then lost it in the quarter-final.

"We're going to rest up, recover  and come out firing tomorrow morning."

Australia plays Ireland at 5:05am AEDT as they vie to progress to the final four.

SCHEDULE

LA Sevens Cup quarter-finals.

Monday March 2

4:43am – Fiji vs England

5:05am – Australia vs Ireland

5:27am – New Zealand vs France

5:49am – South Africa vs USA

3:27pm - AUSTRALIA vs USA

Australia has finished on top of Pool C in LA after a 17-7 win over hosts USA to complete a perfect day one.

The result means they will avoid South Africa in their quarter-final, instead facing Pool B runner-up Ireland in their final eight match-up.

An error from the kick-off saw USA take possession but the Australians cleaned up their mess quickly, winning a lineout throw with their defensive pressure.

Lachie Miller bookmarked the build-up to Australia’s first try, using some smart footwork to create an opportunity and finishing off from the base of the ruck on the following phase.

A long range Lewis Holland gave fans the chance to see Trae Williams accelerate and go toe-to-toe with USA star Perry Baker.

For the second time on Sunday, though, Williams had a potential score disallowed, putting his right foot into touch.

Baker was sent to the bin after collecting an intercept from an offside position and the Australians had a one-man advantage deep in their attacking zone.

Australia worked their way edge to edge and winger Henry Hutchison finished to give the Aussies some breathing room.

Lachie Anderson made it three unanswered scores for Australia, going over in the same corner as Hutchison and Miller, beating out Danny Barrett on his way to the line.

It was slower going in the second half as the hosts tried to work their way back into the contest but Australia’s defence held firm.

Stephen Tomasin broke through the Australian line with three minutes to go, sparking a mini USA comeback.

The Americans continued to pepper the Australian defence but a Dylan Pietsch turnover gave him the chance to seal the game.

A brilliant chase down from the Americans forced a fumble from Peitsch but as the USA began to try and build their final attack, the clock proved their biggest barrier.

Australia will take on Ireland at 5:05am AEDT, while South Africa will meet the USA, France takes on New Zealand and Fiji faces England.

RESULT

Australia 17

Tries: Miller, Hutchison, Anderson

Cons: Holland

USA 7

Tries: Tomasin

Cons: 1

10;39am - AUSTRALIA vs SAMOA

Australia has set up a Pool C showdown with the USA after a comfortable 31-5 win over Samoa on Sunday morning.

While the LA Sevens will have cup quarter-finals, topping the pool will only help their chances of progressing through the tournament.

It was a fairly straightforward victory for the Aussies over Samoa, who have given them some trouble in previous matchups.

Locky Miller broke through for the first try of the match, wrongfooting the Samoan defence.

Trae Williams was brought down just short of the line two minutes later as Australia continued to threaten.

Williams did eventually get over the line in the fifth minute before Samoa responded to narrow Australia’s lead to nine points at the break.

Miller opened up the space for Australia’s third try of the match, finished off by Rod Davies.

Henry Hutchison nabbed his first try with 90 seconds to go, collecting a super Miller pass to score.   

Debutant Stu Dunbar nabbed the sealer in the final seconds of the match to give Australia their second win of the day.

Australia takes on the USA at 3:03pm AEDT.

Australia 31

Tries: Miller, Williams, Davies. Hutchison, Dunbar

Cons: Holland 3

Samoa 5

Tries: Alofipo

7:21am - AUSTRALIA vs SCOTLAND

Australia's men are off to a strong start in LA after a 31-7 win over Scotland

The Aussies conceded the first points of the game when Scotland's Kyle Rowe went over but piled on 31 unanswered points to ensure they took a comfortable victory.

Australia had little possession in the opening minutes but once they found the ball, they put points on the board almost immediately.

Trae Williams found open space on the wing to run over his first try of the tournament.

A poor restart from Australia gave Scotland the chance to score and they looked like having done that just before the break.

Rowe appeared to have scored his second but a desperate dive from Williams forced the Scot into touch.

Rod Davies gave the Aussies the lead, streaking down the left edge to score Australia's second.

Another show of speed, this time from Maurice Longbottom as he picked the ball up from the base of the ruck and took off, gave Australia a 12-point buffer going into the final stages.

Davies made it two for the afternoon in a coast-to-coast effort from Australia that began when Locky Miller picked up a grounded ball and quickly shifted the ball right.

Lachie Anderson iced the match in the final seconds to give the Aussies a good dose of confidence.

Australia take on Samoa in their second match at 10:15am AEDT.

RESULT

Australia 31

Tries: Davies 2, Williams, Longbottom, Anderson

Cons: Longbottom 2, Holland

Scotland

Tries: Rowe

Cons: Lowe

SQUAD

Aussie Men's Sevens for Los Angeles Sevens

Henry Hutchison, Randwick, 30 caps 

Dylan Pietsch, Randwick, 16 caps

Rod Davies, 3 caps 

Lewis Holland (vc), Queanbeyan, 51 caps 

Lachlan Miller, Randwick, 10 caps

Joe Pincus, Easts (Sydney), 10 caps 

Josh Turner, Manly, 4 caps 

Stu Dunbar*, Sydney University 

Trae Williams, 3 caps 

Nick Malouf (c), University of Queensland, 38 caps 

Maurice Longbottom, Lloyd McDermott Rugby Development Team, 18 caps 

Lachlan Anderson (vc), Eastwood, 25 caps  

Angus Bell*, Sydney University  

*Denotes uncapped 

FIXTURES

All times AEDT.

Sunday March 1 

6:57am - Australia vs Scotland

10:15am - Australia vs Samoa

3:03pm - Australia vs USA

 

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