Australia impress on day two in Hong Kong
By Tom Chick in Hong Kong
Australia were one of four sides to win all three of their pool matches to secure their place in the quarter finals of the 2014 Cathay Pacific/HSBC Hong Kong Sevens.
Michael O'Connor, who is coaching in his final Hong Kong Sevens, saw his side beat the current Series leaders South Africa 10-7 with tries from Ed Jenkins and Greg Jeloudev to set up a quarter final with Canada who will compete in their fourth successive Cup competition.
Defending champions Fiji beat Kenya 43-5 to top Pool B, after Vatemo Ravouvou had earlier scored 21 points in their 56-0 defeat of Sri Lanka, and will face USA who snuck through on points difference ahead of Samoa and Scotland as Pool D runners-up.
In Pool C England's Dan Bibby scored 14 points in their win over Portugal before Dan Norton added two tries in the pool decider with Canada, a match they won 14-7, and they meet Neil Powell's South Africa in the quarters in So Kon Po.
New Zealand beat Samoa 26-7 and USA 17-7 on day two to book their progress with a 100% record and they will meet Wales after Sam Cross scored at the death to give Wales a win over Kenya, before they beat Sri Lanka.
It is their first quarter final since the second round in Dubai but the biggest cheer of the day came as Mithun Hapugodage scored both of Sri Lanka's tries in their 47-12 defeat.
In the Bowl Argentina will play Spain, France await Portugal, Sri Lanka meet Samoa as they still look for a first win as the non-core side competing in Hong Kong and Scotland face Kenya.
Ben Ryan, Fiji coach: "Two long days but the boys are staying focused on the field which is the most important thing. It is great to be here, you have to be careful as you don’t want to over-egg things. We try to keep things simple and we make sure we plan well. There are lots of distractions and lots of support, so you try to cocoon the boys a little bit so they can do what they need to do on the field. Good to have Wais with me, he adds to that motivation side of things, so we’re making a good team today.”
Mick O’Connor, Australia coach: “10-7 so very tight, but I thought we played well. We always have a tough game against them and I am happy with that win. They beat us in New Zealand in similar conditions, but this time we had the edge. I think these boys continue to get better the more they play with each other and the older they get and now we're looking forward to Canada tomorrow.”
Wales physio Dan Jones, on the short turnaround between their two final pool matches: “What you saw there was the boys digging in. I think there was about an hour recovery between matches so it was all about a quick recovery drink and keeping them warm before that match. The key now is to get some food on board, back to the hotel, ice baths, some treatment and plenty of rest.”
Ben Gollings, leading-points scorer in history of World Series and former Sri Lanka coach: “I went to have a chat with them (Sri Lanka) earlier. It is all to gain and nothing to lose being here. I told them to give it everything and make the most of the occasion because they’ll get a lot out of it and they could be here in the qualifier next year.
"Fiji have turned up red hot here, South Africa the same, so it is all to play for. My home team England, I’d love to see them in the final and New Zealand will be buoyed to reach it so lots to look forward to.”
Gavin Hastings, HSBC Ambassador: “Unbelievable here. We were just waiting for the heavens to open and as soon as Scotland hit the field it rained! Good performance from them though. You sense the opportunity these teams have here, that is what is all about.”
George Gregan, HSBC Ambassador: “Not really the conditions you find in Australia. That was ridiculous. I looked at Ben Gollings, and we couldn’t believe how dark it was at midday! For Mick O’Connor this is a really special tournament but it is time for a change ahead of the Olympics.”