Australia Sevens head coach Geraint John was left to lament indifferent decision-making at crucial times as his side endured heartbreaking defeats to South Africa and Argentina as their Gold Coast Sevens campaign ended on a low note on Sunday. John said, “I think we were ok on Day One but we were disappointing in that last match against Fiji. I think we had opportunities against South Africa and Argentina today but we weren’t clinical enough. We have to make sure that we make the right decisions and that it doesn’t affect the rest of our season. The players will now take some time off and review what they went in this tournament and we’ll move on from there.” Australia were edged out of the Cup competition at the quarter-final stage by Commonwealth Games Gold Medallists South Africa (12-10) before falling to Argentina in the Plate semi-final (21-17).
Against the Blitzbokke, James Stannard spotted the smallest of gaps in the South African defence to give his side an early advantage only for Kwagga Smith and Frankie Horne to score either side of the break to give the visitors the lead. Con Foley powered over on the siren but Cameron Clark missed the resulting conversion to hand South Africa a hard-earned win. Argentina were the first to strike in the Plate semi-final but Cameron Clark replied shortly after.
Some quick-thinking from Lewis Holland saw Australia take the lead with Ed Jenkins extending their lead midway through the second period. However, two tries in the last minute of play from Axel Muller consigned the home side to defeat. Elsewhere, Fiji continued to thrill their fans as they surged towards to a well-deserved Cup Final triumph to take an early lead in the 2014/15 HSBC Sevens World Series.
Ben Ryan’s side saw off Samoa (31-24) after earlier demolishing Wales (31-10) and then England (48-7). The English, meanwhile, took third place after beating South Africa (19-0). The draw for the Dubai Sevens on the weekend of 5-6 December was also made, with the Aussies placed in Pool C alongside England, USA and Kenya.