The Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team has fallen in the final of the Canada Sevens in Vancouver to New Zealand, going down 14-17.
The Aussie 7s took control of the match early on, starving New Zealand of possession for most of the first half with tries to Lachlan Anderson and Maurice Longbottom giving the men in gold a 15-5 lead.
Two yellow cards for Australia and a determined effort from All Blacks Sevens side allowed the New Zealanders to take the lead 14-17.
Australia fought back with seconds to go in the match, but a pass deemed to go forward by Lewis Holland prevented the Aussies from taking what would have been a famous victory.
The second-place finish moves Australia into the fourth position on the HSBC Sevens World Series ladder on 81 points, just trailing Fiji on 83 points. New Zealand has extended its lead over the competition on 115 points with South Africa on 105 points.
Earlier in the day, Australia had defeated England in the quarter finals and Canada in a tough semi-final, where the Aussie 7s held out against the home team 19-14 with some desperate defence on the goal line.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said: “We fought hard today, and it wasn’t to be in the Final but its been a really great effort by the team over the last few weeks.
“Building consistency is the key to build confidence and momentum, its pleasing to be on the podium again but naturally disappointed to go down to New Zealand.
“We will look at the positives and move forward.”
Day one results
Australia 33 defeated Scotland 19
Australia 40 defeated Samoa 12
Australia 29 defeated USA 7
Day two results
Australia 31 defeated England 12
Australia 19 defeated Canada 14
Australia 14 was defeated by New Zealand 17
Lewis Holland becomes the most capped Australian Men’s Sevens player with 52 caps, surpassing Ed Jenkins. Holland is also the leading Australian points scorer this season with 125 points.
Australia has moved into second position on the HSBC Sevens World Series Ladder.
The Aussie 7s have scored 698 points with 110 tries this season.
Lachie Anderson is the leading Australian try scorer this season with 16 tries, followed closely by Henry Hutchison on 15.
Tim Anstee returned to the national jersey after a long layoff with injury.