Australia to play Fiji at Hong Kong Sevens
March 24, 2013
Shannon Walker outstrips Argentina's defence on day two in Hong Kong © Getty Images
Australia will face Fiji in the quarter-finals of the Hong Kong Sevens after finishing second in their pool, with two wins from three matches in the opening stage of the sixth round of the IRB Sevens World Series.
The Australians got off to a bad start, losing their first match to Wales on Friday night, before bouncing back to claim wins over South Africa and Argentina on Saturday. Australia coach Michael O'Connor was proud of his team's efforts to advance to the Cup quarter-finals.
"In my time, that's the hardest two matches we've had to play to get through to the quarter final," O'Connor said. "The standard of the opposition was great, it was a really tough pool with really tough games. We had to win both our games today so it was a really courageous effort."
Australia's first match saw a late try seal a 19-14 win to Wales. They were down 12-0 at half-time against the Welsh, but Lewis Holland scored twice for his side to close the gap. Freshly returned Australian international James Stannard, playing in his first tournament since 2010, added the extras on both occasions for Australia to take a 14-12 lead. A late try saw the Welsh steal the win.
Day two saw the Australia in much better form, opening with a 21-12 win over South Africa. They took a 7-5 lead at half-time after a try and conversion to Stannard. Shannon Walker added a double in the second half to give Australia a comfortable lead, with Stannard adding both extras.
Australia went on to win 12-5 over Argentina, with Holland and Stannard again combining with try and conversion in the first half to give their side a 7-5 lead at the interval. Walker scored the only try of the second half to give Australia the win.
Australia face Fiji at 3:30pm (AEDT) in the Cup quarter-final on the last day of competition in Hong Kong.
Official highlights from day one of the Hong Kong Sevens
© ESPN Australia / New Zealand
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September