Australia undefeated in Sevens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Australia undefeated in Sevens

19/03/2005 05:44:22 AM Comments (0)

Australia finished undefeated on day one of the Rugby World Cup Sevens after beating Japan 31-12 in their third Pool match in Hong Kong.

Matt Hodgson scored two tries with Australia's others coming from Josh Gamgee, Nick Reily - his fifth of the tournament, making him the leading try scorer to date - and Kieran Massey.

The big crowd gave Japan plenty of support and were delighted when Yohei Shinomiya scored two late tries for Japan to bring the final score to 31-12.

Earlier, Australia smashed hosts Hong Kong 38-5, thanks to tries from Reily, Gamgee, Andrew Brown, Shawn Mackay and Anthony Sauer, who scored a double in the second half.

The Australians will play their last two pool matches against Canada and Fiji on Saturday.

France handed England a shock defeat, ending a three-year unbeaten streak and badly denting their hopes of uniting the 15-a-side and Sevens world titles.

The 28-17 victory, in front of a stunned Hong Kong crowd, also handed the initiative to defending champions New Zealand, who survived a testing encounter with Pacific rivals Tonga.

France's Jerome Naves secured the win on a day for the underdogs, capitalising on a mistake by late substitute Rob Thirlby to sprint half the length of the field and score beneath the posts.

New Zealand trailed Tonga 7-12 at half-time before hitting back with tries from Highlanders flanker Josh Blackie and Orene Ai'i to remain on course for the first back-to-back World Cup Sevens titles.

The tense late encounters came as a surprise after both favourites had made flying starts to their campaigns. New Zealand breezed past South Korea and Ireland while England were electric against Georgia and Italy.

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