Aboriginal team takes out Sevens - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aboriginal team takes out Sevens

By Billy Freeman 29/01/2003 10:30:48 PM Comments (0)

Cliff Lyons is non-committal about whether he will play in this weekend's world sevens despite his Aboriginal side qualifying for the international rugby league tournament by downing New Zealand Maoris 26-12.

The former Manly half did not play in the oppressive heat at the sevens qualifying tournament in Sydney's west, restricting himself to water-running duties for his team with 1987 premiership-winning teammate Ron Gibbs.

When asked if he would play at the sevens tournament at Aussie Stadium here this weekend, Lyons simply smiled and said: "You'll have to wait and see. I'm giving nothing away."

The Aboriginals and the New Zealand Maoris were by far the best in the nine-team qualifying competition, demolishing the competition in their respective pools.

When it came to the final, the Maoris got the early break through a try to Willie Bishop but - aside from a late consolation try - it was all the Aboriginals from then on.

The Aboriginal side swamped the Maoris, denying them the ball for long stretches and even earned themselves a penalty from the three-man scrum late in the first half, a rare occurrence in sevens.

Parramatta signing Ronald Prince scored right on halftime, giving the Aboriginals an almost unassailable 16-6 lead.

By fulltime, the Aboriginals had scored an easy win, putting them into Group E at the weekend alongside England and Tonga.

"We knew they were quick on their feet, so we had to keep the ball away from them," Lyons said.

"It seems to have worked."

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