Australia continue strong start with comeback Canada victory

Sat, Jan 28, 2023, 12:51 AM
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
Sydney Sevens Tournament Breakdown

Australia has all but secured their place in the knockout stages in Sydney with a 22-7 win over Canada.

Once again, the World Series champions did it the hard way, trailing 7-5 at the break after an early Brock Webster try.


In the end, the Aussies took advantage of an ill-disciplined Canadian outfit, scoring three tries when Canada had a player in the bin.

"The character was good. They're really playing for each other which is all I can ask," coach John Manenti said.

"We just got to really respect our ball and I think we were trying a little too hard with the ball. I thought we were a lot better in the second half, we were a lot more composed and didn't try and make every play a million-dollar one.

"Once we got to that third or fourth phase, we were able to strike."

The game followed a similar script to their opener, forced to chase the scoreboard after a yellow card to Henry Hutchison provided the space for Brock Webster to dive over.

A dangerous tackle from Josiah Morra off the resulting kickoff provided the chance for the hosts to launch, with Dietrich Roache gifting James Turner a try after he was brought down well and truly over the goal line.

Turner finished his second off after the break and when Matt Oworu was pinged for a deliberate knock down, it was all Australia as Darby Lancaster and Hutchison dived over for the victory.

"I think we just love defence at the moment. We haven't had a lot of ball where we're pretty deadly but I think we're working well without the ball," James Turner believes.

"We take a lot of pride in our defence and we just love each other so that's why we do it."

It sets up a crucial clash with Argentina to decide the Pool, with the winner likely facing France whilst the loser faces a daunting Fijian challenge, who has been electric in their opening two pool games.

The Pool remains wide open after the Hamilton champions were shock losses to Great Britain, with Manenti pushing for his side to lock up their spot with a win.

"I think it's important (Australia defeat Argentina). France can't be underestimated, they can knock Fiji off. There's no guarantee if you don't top the pool, you don't get Fiji," Manenti noted.

"Some of the top teams are still struggling for consistency. When they are hot, they're red hot but will still have a bad game. We need to focus on what we need to do against Argentina and then worry about who we play after that."

Australia 22 (TRIES: James Turner 2, Hutchison, Lancaster; CONS: Longbottom) def Canada 7 (TRIES: Webster; CONS: Webster)

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