Aussies finish second in Singapore
30 April 2018
RUGBY SEVENS: Australia's men finished second in Singapore, but it took until after the full-time siren for the title to be secured.
Singapore was Fiji's fourth World Series cup win in the 2017-18 season, putting them back on top of the series standings, with two legs to go.
Australia also moved back into fourth in the series, rebounding from an 11th-place finish in Hong Kong that saw them drop out of the top four.
The top 10 after Hong Kong are:
1. Fiji - 145
2. South Africa - 141
3. New Zealand - 120
4. Australia - 108
5. USA - 93
7. Argentina- 92
8. England - 88
9. Samoa - 55
10. Scotland - 51
In more positive news for the Aussies, Ben O'Donnell finished on top of the tournament's performance tracker, after another sensational outing in his rookie Sevens season, putting him right in the reckoning for rookie of the year.
Australia has lost a heartbreaking Singapore Sevens final, going down to Fiji 28-22, after full-time.
The Aussies trailed for the entire match, until a freakish John Porch try put them one point up with one minute to go.
Fiji had the final say though, with a 90-metre try from Alosio Sovita Naduva snatching victory for the Islanders, one minute after full-time.
The Fijians had the early possession, but Australia’s trademark defence kept the pressure on the World Series heavyweights, before Waisea Nacuqu found what was ultimately an inevitable score in the third minute, just slipping through Australia’s wall.
Australia was punished by a pass that went to ground and before anyone could clean up, Nacuqu had picked it up and scored his second, opening up an early gap for Fiji.
Ben O’Donnell found a break for Australia and though he got caught short of the line, a swift cleanout from Tom Connor and a quick pass to 13th man Dylan Pietsch, gave the latter Australia’s first.
Fiji’s Eroni Sau was handed a yellow card after that score, for a late tackle on Connor, giving Australia the best opportunity yet, and they immediately pounced through Maurice Longbottom, narrowing the gap to four points at the break.
Australia held the ball for the first two minutes of the second half, but just one misstep in the form of an inaccurate pass gave Jerry Tuwai the chance to open up the gap once more.
Both sides threw everything into their defence, with a Locky MIller tackle keeping Australia in the game with three minutes.
A Brandon Quinn try made the equation just one score for Australia with 90 seconds to go, and when Porch put down a freakish try it looked like the miracle was on.
The Aussies looked like scoring another just shy of the whistle, but a knock on was called in the lead-up, giving Fiji one last chance to attack, and Naduva finished off.
England took out the bronze medal, beating South Africa in the third-place playoff earlier.