BERRY’S Tom Connor and his Australian men’s sevens team has topped Pool D on day one of the HSBC Cape Town Sevens, accounting for Wales, Canada and Scotland to advance to the quarter-finals.
Australia will play the second placed finisher in Pool A at 9.48pm AEDT on Sunday, December 9.
Pool D was always going to be a challenging pool and today didn’t disappoint with three very tough matches,” Australian men’s sevens coach Tim Walsh said.
“Across the squad we worked hard in those games and concentrated on winning the moments we had to in order to get the results.
“The hard work kicks off tomorrow in what will be a difficult quarter-final.
“We’ll rest, recover and make sure we’re prepared for what day two throws at us.”
Day one – how it happened:
Australia 21 defeated Wales 14
Wales were the first to strike in the battle of Pool D, with several phases of attack, hammering the Australian line, crossing next to the posts.
Wales starved Australia of possession and looked like they had crossed the line for the second time had it not been for the exceptional cover tackle of Lachie Anderson.
When Australia finally got the ball they went 80 metres to score with Henry Hutchison scoring underneath the posts to level the scores at 7-all.
The second half saw the stalemate between the two sides remain, with head coach Tim Walsh opting to bring Maurice Longbottom who with his second touch of the ball kicked through the defence for Lachie Anderson who scored, giving Australia the lead for the first time in the match 14-7.
Dane Blecker from Wales crossed the line after a solid line break that put the men in red in Australia’s defensive zone. The successful conversion locked up the scores with second remaining.
The Aussie Sevens patiently moved their way up field and once again it was Maurice Longbottom that created some magic, giving on the outside of the defence to score, giving Australia a 21-14 victory in their opening pool game.
Australia 29 defeated Canada 15
Australia started strongly against Canada, scoring in the first minute through John Porch.
Nick Malouf scored two tries to ensure that the men in gold took an early advantage.
The Aussie 7s kept pressuring the North Americans, and were rewarded with an additional try to Porch, taking the men in gold to a 24-nil lead heading into the break.
Canada struck first in the second half, pressuring Australia with some good running lines.
The Aussie 7s mobilised and ended any resistance with John Porch scoring his hattrick. Nick Malouf scored his second of two tries to ensure that Australia would take the match 29-15.
Australia 26 defeated Scotland 14
The Aussie 7s opened the scoring in the opening minute with Jesse Parahi pilfering Scotland’s ball, offloading to Maurice Longbottom who ran through the line untouched to score the opening try.
Australia went over again with back to back tries to Jesse Parahi and Maurice Longbottom to take a 19-nil lead over the Scots.
Scotland fought their way back into the half, scoring off the last play before the break, taking the score to 19-5.
Maurice Longbottom and John Porch combined well in the opening moments of the second half to extend the men in gold’s lead to 26-7.
Scotland fought back with a late consolation try to Harvey Elms but it was not enough, Australia taking the game 26-14.