Super Rugby


4/14/2018

Rugby Sevens at the 2018 Commonwealth Games - Day Two Wrap


By Sam Phillips - Rugby.com.au

Charlotte Caslick dragged Australia to victory at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday, setting up a Commonwealth Games semi final showdown against Canada.

A pair of picture perfect Caslick tries kept Australia on top of their pool as they beat Fiji 17-10 but she was not the only Queenslander in action at Robina Stadium.

Proud Brisbane product Tom Lucas played a starring playmaking role in the Australian Men's Sevens campaign but they fell short against England, 26-17, ending their hopes of finishing on the podium.

The Australians breezed past Samoa and Jamaica but the loss to England relegated them to a second place finish in Pool B and they will now be forced to fight for fifth place.

Against Samoa, the try scoring heroics of Lachie Anderson and Maurice Longbottom stole the show but it was the team's defence which played a critical, understated role.

Samoa had all the early ball and after a multi phase movement they finally broke Australia's line, Neria Fomai getting past John Porch en route to the line.

The Aussies duly responded, a determined run from captain Jesse Parahi and some superb hands from Lucas setting up Lachie Anderson to level things up at 7-all with just under three minutes left in the first term.

Anderson stretched out to add another one minute later, Lucas again playing a starring role in the Samoan red zone.

Maurice Longbottom then entered the fray and with his first touch he juked his way through four defenders before sprinting away to open up a 17-7 half time lead.
 
When play resumed Tom Connor followed Longbottom's lead, forcing a penalty at the breakdown before scoring with his first touch, too.
 
The win over Jamaica was a breeze, setting up a winner takes all clash with England.
 
Parahi set the tone for the Australians when he rocked an English player from the opening kick off and 30 seconds later, Lucas threw a cutout pass to put Ben O'Donnell in for the first points of the match.

England worked their way up the field and returned serve through Dan Norton before John Porch made a half break and tried to put his support away, only for Tom Mitchell to be sent to the sin bin for a deliberate knockdown.
 
The Australians immediately made the Poms pay, Porch falling over the line after Anderson made a half break.

Lucas slotted a tough conversion to put the Australians up 12-5 but an ill-advised Charlie Taylor kick and a pair of missed tackles saw England respond once more, Phil Burgess the try scorer.

That levelled the scores at 12-all at the break and missed tackles were once again Australia's kryptonite when play resumed, as Ruaridh McConnochie crossed to give England their first lead, at 19-12.

Finally Longbottom entered the fray and he immediately provided the spark Australia craved, drawing two defenders and putting Connor away to cut the gap to two.

But as they had all match, England responded once again through Alex Davis to put the result beyond doubt.
 
Australia's Women will face Canada in their semi final at 10:59am AEST, while the Men will face Kenya in a fifth place playoff semi final at 10:15am AEST.

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