The Australian Men’s Sevens program has claimed bronze at the Vancouver Sevens, stealing victory from Samoa in the dying stages of the match.
Australia won 21 to 19, following a full time to Nathan Lawson during the side’s final match in Canada following a standout weekend. Drawn in Pool C, Australia faced tournament hosts Canada and Spain in their opening two games, defeating both sides before falling to reigning champions South Africa in their final pool match.
The side’s day one results saw them take down trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in the Cup Quarter Finals, defeating the side 19 to 12, with Corey Toole scoring a double to secure the win for the Australians.
Argentina proved to be the speedbump for the Australians during their road to the finals, with the Olympic Bronze medallists outpacing the Australians to win 12 to 24, seeing the men in gold face Samoa in the bronze final.
The final match wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Australians, with current World Series leading points scorer Dietrich Roache first to open the scoring for the side. However, Samoa controlled the rest of the half, with three subsequent tries seeing them take the lead at the break.
Australia came out in the second half firing, with Tim Clements leading the side’s offensive as they continued to chase down the target set by the Samoans, a tough back and forth ensured between the two sides.
But, the match would go down to the wire. As the full-time siren sounded, the Aussies still trailed by five points, with a piece of crafty footwork from Maurice Longbottom placing Lawson in a gap in the Samoan defence to allow Longbottom to secure the win for Australia.
The side will now return to Australia as they prepare for the Toulouse leg of the World Series, kicking off on May 20th
Speaking after the match, Men’s Sevens captain Nick Malouf said: “It was a gutsy end to our game, but it shows how much Samoa has progressed the past few tournaments.
“We had a disappointing semi-final where we were off the mark, so this match was important to bounce back; that’s a hallmark of a good team, so in the final moments of the final, it was nice to steal the win,” Malouf said.