Tom Connor steers Australia to third at the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship

Tom Connor dives over the score in Fiji. Photo: OCEANIA RUGBY
Tom Connor dives over the score in Fiji. Photo: OCEANIA RUGBY

SHOALHAVEN product Tom Connor has helped the Australian men’s sevens rugby side to third place at the Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship.

The young Aussie sevens men’s side fell to New Zealand in the championship semi0final 31-nil, but despite the scoreline, Australia asked questions of New Zealand’s defence.  

In severe weather conditions, the tournament was delayed for hours after heavy rain and lightning forced the cease of play.

The Aussie men’s third place play-off match against Samoa was suspended due to player welfare meaning that Australia finished in third place on points.

The Aussie sevens men's team. Photo: OCEANIA RUGBY

The Aussie sevens men's team. Photo: OCEANIA RUGBY

“The weather has thrown up a whole heap that we have had to handle throughout the day, including the thunder and the lightening,” Australian men’s assistant coach Jarred Hodges said.

“It was part of dealing with the elements.

“I’m really proud of the boys’ efforts.

“I thought in the first half (against New Zealand) we put them under a bit of pressure, but it was probably their experience and maturity that saw them get through over the game.

“Our guys would have learnt a lot going forward.

“We now get down to business, we’ve got the world series kicking off in Dubai and we’ll get home and pick our 12 for the start of the World Series.”  

The Australian women’s team went one better, finishing second after losing the final to New Zealand 12-5 in a torrential and stormy Fiji.

Both team’s will now look to finalise their preparation for the HSBC Sevens World Series which kicks off in Dubai on November 30.