Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens undefeated on day one in Singapore

· Mens - Singapore
by Rugby Australia

The Aussie 7s defeated Argentina (22-17), France (24-12) and Hong Kong (47-0) to ensure that they will have a place in the quarterfinals.

Australia will progress to the quarter finals taking on England tomorrow at 2.36pm (AEST)

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “Today was a front foot day, we set ourselves up early which enabled us to rotate the squad, try some new things and play without fear.

“We need to be better when the odds are against us, that is the difference between the top and middle teams.

“Tomorrow is a new day we and we will take many positive aspects out of today and keep momentum going into the match against England.”

Australia 22 defeated Argentina 17

An in-form Argentinian side started the match on a high, scoring swiftly against the Australians in the opening exchanges. However Maurice Longbottom quickly retaliated breaking the Argentinian line to level the scores. Simon Kennewell was next to score evading the defence before successfully diving over extending the Australian lead. Joe Pincus quickly followed his teammate and was next to cross for the men in gold, with subsequent quick taps seeing the ball handed to Pincus yet again allowing him to cross the line for a second time and securing an Australian lead 15-5 at half time.

The Argentinean side came out of the at strength following the break, overcoming a committed Australian defence to close the gap at the start of the second half. Quick off the restart, the Argentinean outfit scored again to take the lead 17-15. However, Maurice Longbottom was not going to let the Aussie 7s side down, punching through the defence he scored again under the posts, in what would be the final try of the match. A successful conversion from captain Lewis Holland, saw the Australians take the victory 22-17.

Australia 24 defeated France 12

The Australians started match two on the back foot, succumbing to a ruthless French offensive in the opening minutes of the first half with Frances’ Remi Siega first to take to the scorecard. From the restart Australia maintained possession allowing Maurice Longbottom to level the score. Jeral Skelton followed surviving a desperate French defence, Skelton managed to sprint down the line extending the Aussie 7s lead. France would have the final say off the half with Remi Siega crossing the line again, equalling the scores 12-12 at halftime.

The second half saw the Australian side suppressing any French attempt to escape their own 22m. Forcing several errors the Australian’s quickly regathered the ball off the back of the scrum, allowing Lachie Miller to score his first points of the tournament, fresh off the bench. Lewis Holland added the extras extending Australia’s lead. Speedster Henry Hutchinson would be next to strike for the Aussie 7s as the team began to find their form, doubling their lead to 24-12. A grubber kick from Holland saw the ball head deep into French territory, with a minute left on the clock, the Australian side managed to hold out a desperate French attack, winding the clock down to win the match 24-12.

Australia 47 defeated Honk Kong 0

A rejigged starting line-up saw the Australian side come out on the attack; young gun Josh Coward was first to break the line for the Australian’s beating three defenders before handing it to Dylan Pietsch who crossed for the first points of the match. Lachie Miller followed shortly after, finding a hole in Hong Kong’s defence, running the length of the field furthering Australia’s lead. Maurice Longbottom made his mark coming off the bench and scoring moments after with Josh Coward adding the extras. Tom Connor would have the final say for the men in gold before the half elapsed crossing over in extra time, enabling the Australians to lead 28-0 at halftime.

Joe Pincus made his mark swiftly in the second half, scoring back to back tries against an unsuspecting Hong Kong side. Josh Coward continued his pinpoint accuracy converting both and successfully adding to Australia’s lead with minutes left in the match. Liam McNamara was next to strike for the Australians off the back of a lineout on halfway extending the score to 47-0. However a last-ditch attempt from Hong Kong side to cross the line was unsuccessful, allowing the Australians to finish the match 47-0 and cementing their spot in the cup quarterfinal.