Aussie Men qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as Aussie Women go back to back in Fiji

by Rugby Australia

The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games having defeated Samoa 19-12 in the Olympic Final of the Oceania Sevens Championship in Suva Fiji on Saturday.

Australia came back from a 12-0 deficit to score three unanswered tries, including a charge down try by Captain Lewis Holland to defeat Samoa in wet conditions in the Fijian capital. The win ensured Australia will join the other teams already qualified for the Games in Tokyo next year.

The Aussie men then went on to defeat Fiji in a thrilling final, taking out the overall championship 22-7 and ensuring both Australian teams went undefeated at this year's Oceania Sevens Championship.

Earlier in the evening the Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens defeated Fiji to win the overall Oceania Women Sevens Championship and ensure they went back to back in defending their title accounting for Fiji 24 to 12.

The Aussie Women went through the tournament undefeated which included accounting for New Zealand, Canada and Japan in an invitational arm of the tournament having already ensured qualification through the HSBC Sevens World Series.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh said: “We’re ecstatic, there was a lot of pressure over the last three months on this one game (Samoa). Preparation breeds confidence and you make your own luck.

“Lewis Holland had a Captain’s knock today and that was the difference.

"I’m proud of the whole program, the boys that didn't play, the boys that are over here and didn't play.

“Finding a way to win is probably the most pleasing thing out of this whole event.”

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Captain, Lewis Holland said: “The last three months have been building towards this moment because we didn't qualify through the World Series, that was our first goal, and this was our second hurdle we had to get over if we didn't overcome the first one.

“The 13 lads that were over here worked really hard over these three days. We were prepared for that game and we adjusted accordingly.”

Qantas Australian Women’s Sevens Head Coach John Manenti said: "We always want to win when we play but we wanted to give some exposure to our younger girls and test ourselves against some really good teams.

"We played New Zealand twice, and a good Canadian and Japanese team. Tonight we had to show a bit of character to come back against Fiji at home to win.

"I think it proves that we are heading in the right direction with what we are doing. It gives us a lot of confidence that the girls coming through are ready to step up."

The next round of the HSBC Sevens World Series sees teams head to Dubai.

The Qantas Australian Men's and Women's Sevens teams will be in action on home soil at the HSBC Sydney Sevens on February 1-2, tickets are available through Ticketek.

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