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AUSSIE 7s MEN FINISH HSBC SEVENS WORLD SERIES IN FOURTH PLACE
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The Qantas Australian Men's Sevens side have finished fourth in the 2017/2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, despite a disappointing 11th place result at the HSBC Paris Sevens.
The side claiming three podium finishes throughout the 10-leg series, bronze in Hamilton, silver in Singapore and the highlight of the season, gold in front of their home crowd in Sydney at the HSBC Sydney 7s.
Australia will return home to prepare for the Rugby World Cup Sevens which will be held in San Francisco, USA in July.
Australia defeated Russia (14-5) but fell to Argentina (19-24) in a frustrating match for the men in gold.
Qantas Australian Men's Sevens coach, Tim Walsh said: "When you win lose or draw you always get to pick up learns, and often when you lose you get to pick up more.”
“The players have had a huge, long season, all the way back from Munich to San Jose, Commonwealth Games and all the way to here and they’re obviously disappointed, everybody is with the way they performed.
“They can be congratulated for a season that’s full of highs and lows, but I’m sure a lot of them are already thinking about the next one, that’s what you tend to do as an athlete, think about where you can improve and where we can be better,” Walsh said.
Australia 14 defeated Russia 5
Russia controlled the ball in the opening minutes of the match, moving from left to right as they attempted to find a gap in the Australian defence. Australia waited for the Russian mistake and capitalised by regaining possession and scoring through Captain Lewis Holland under the posts for a 7-0 lead. Russia pushed hard in defence as they looked to regain possession and level the scores but pushed too far with German Davydov being sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knock down.
The second half saw Australia start strongly, with the backs calmly moving the ball until Sam Myers could barnstorm through a gap to extend Australia’s lead to 14-0. Russia was finally able to strike back, Igor Galinovskiy receiving a pearler off an offload to score in the corner and take the gap to 14-5. A physical Russia continued to test Australia in the final stages of the match, preventing the Aussies from scoring a third try.
Australia 19 was defeated by Argentina 24
It was a scrappy start to the match with both sides trading handling errors early. The Australians the fastest to find their groove with a well worked set play from a scrum resulting in rookie Dylan Pietsch crossing in the corner for first points. Argentina hit back almost immediately through Juan Rosas Paz before capitalising on yet another handling error to go in front for the first time through Santiago Mare. The men in blue and white leading 12-5 at the break.
The Aussies were desperate to keep their Challenge Trophy hopes alive and it was again Holland who provided the spark. The inspirational skipper with a 20-metre plus cut out pass finding a flying Pietsch who pinned his ears back to cross for his second and restore parity on the scoreboard. Ill-discipline cost the Aussies in the next section of play, a beautiful set play from a penalty from the Argentinians saw Lautaro Bazan Velez dive on a perfectly waited grubber in the in-goal area to put his side back in front. The Argentinians all but icing the game when Juan Rosas Paz again found space behind the line with a kick through to score his second and extend the lead to 12. Up and comer, Liam McNamara did score a consolation five-pointer after the siren, the final score 24-19 to Argentina.
Paris Sevens day three results:
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens
Challenge Trophy Quarter Final: Australia 14-5 Russia
Challenge trophy Semi Final: Australia 19-24 Argentina