Australia finish third in Fiji
October 5, 2013
Alex Gibbon breaks clear of a tackle against American Samoa © Sean Wong
Australia finished third at the Federation of Oceania Rugby Union's 2013 Oceania Men's Sevens Championship in Fiji.
Australia started strongly in Suva, defeating American Samoa 31-0 and Solomon Islands 43-0, but they then lost 26-12 to eventual champions Samoa. On day two, Australia scored six tries in defeating Papua New Guinea 36-19 in the quarter-finals before losing to Fiji in the semi-finals, the then undefeated winners playing a faster game to win 31-17 after the teams had been locked 12-12 at half-time. Australia defeated Cook Islands in the third-place play-off, scoring seven tries in their impressive 49-5 victory.
Australia Sevens coach Michael O'Connor was impressed with the team's performance given the side had not previously played together.
"It was an incredibly worthwhile tournament for us," he said. "It offered quality opposition and exposed new players to an international Sevens experience. At the end of the day, we only went down by two tries in our losses to Samoa and Fiji, so plenty of positives to take from this. Players were vying for one of three spots in the Gold Coast Sevens team, and some have really stepped up.
"Samoa is in our pool next week, as is Argentina, also playing here in the Invitational, plus Fiji is defending champion, so it's been really good to see them in action ahead of the Gold Coast Sevens."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
The time for tinkering is over - England must nail their colours to the mast in key positions, writes Phil Vickery
"New Zealand-born Joe Schmidt has forged the Irish into a street-smart, well- prepared side," John Mitchell on the Irish renaissance
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports