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Australia take Fifth Place at Dubai Sevens

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The Australian Men’s Sevens team has won the Fifth Placed Final against Samoa 22-17, to ensure the side finished just outside the top four for crucial Series points in Dubai this morning.

The Aussie 7s fell to a fast finishing English side (19-26) in the Cup Quarter Finals, before bouncing back to defeat Kenya (19-12) and Samoa in the Fifth Place Final.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Andy Friend said: “The positive side is that we finished with two wins but the disappointing side that we came here wanting to be in the Semi Finals, we didn’t achieve that.

“We got to this point last year and then went to Cape Town and went very poor, we have got to take this Fifth spot and go into Cape Town and target a Semi Final there.

“I thought Lachie (Anderson) and Simon (Kennewell) were two of our better players today and it was good for Lewis Holland to get some minutes under his belt. That was a pleasing part of the tournament.

“We are seconds away from being in Finals but we have to learn how to play those Championship minutes and take those opportunities when they are there. That’s where we have to be better and that’s our target next weekend.”

Australian Men’s Sevens Captain, Lewis Holland said: “We didn’t start the way we wanted to. We needed to build throughout the day, but we will learn from that and we have a lot of young guys who will take a lot form it.

“Hopefully next week we can come out firing like we did on day one. We went away from our game and went a bit one off. We didn’t back our systems and structures that we have been practicing all pre-season. We will go away and fix that and be ready for next week.”

Australia head to Cape Town, South Africa for the Cape Town Sevens for round two of the HSBC Sevens World Series, which kicks off next weekend.

Cup Quarter Finals: Australia 19 was defeated by England 26

In the Cup Quarter Final clash, Australia started the match well with Simon Kennewell continuing the good form he started on day one by scoring in the opening minute. England countered through speedster Dan Norton to bring England into the match two minutes later. The two sides traded possession as the match wore on but a powerful effort from Boyd Killingworth allowed Australia to take the lead. Again, England found a way back leaving the scores locked at 12-12 at the break.

England continued with their momentum in the second half with a try to Tom Mitchell in the eighth minute giving England the lead. Maurice Longbottom again impressed with a powerful try of his own as he drove his way over the line next to the posts which John Porch converted to level the scores. With both sides throwing everything at each other some good fortune fell the way of England with the Aussies making a small defensive lapse which allowed the men in white to score a try in extra time and win 19-26.

Fifth Place Semi Final: Australia 19 defeated Kenya 12

Kenya started the match well against the Aussie 7s with some determined defence from the Aussie 7s preventing Kenya from opening their account early in the match. Australia patiently worked their way up field with Tim Anstee eventually able to score the Aussie 7s first points to take a 5-0 lead. On the cusp of half time the Africans were able to breach the wall of yellow jerseys, taking a 5-7 lead at the break.

A determined Australian outfit pushed home their superior ball playing ability in the second half with tries to Lachie Anderson and Matthew Hood moving the score board to 19-7. Kenya had he last say of the match with a try in the corner but the Aussie 7s held on to move on to the Fifth Place Final.

Fifth Place Final: Australia 22 defeated Samoa 17

Lachie Anderson was denied a try for playing the ball on the ground in the opening seconds of the match, which left the door open for Samoa on the counter. Samoa took their chances and were able to score in the corner taking a 0-5 lead. Samoa regathered the ball off the kick off and Tomasi Alosio scored near the posts to extend the lead to 0-12. A break from Aussie 7s 13th man, Matthew Hood final gave the men in gold some meaningful possession putting James Stannard over. Momentum had swung back to the Aussie7s with Simon Kennewell scoring, tying the game at 12-12 just before the break.

Lachie Anderson scored the try he was denied in the first half in the opening play of the second half to give the Aussie 7s a 17-12 lead. Samoa countered through their captain Alatasi Tupou to level the scored. James Stannard showed his amazing vision for the game by catching Samoa off guard as he ducked and weaved in behind their covering defence to offload the ball to Lachie Anderson over the try line. Australia won the match 22-17.