AUSTRALIA gained some consolation at the world series rugby sevens in Wellington by beating Scotland 22-7 in the Plate final.
The young Australian side, which was beaten by New Zealand in the quarter-finals, effectively finished fifth of 16 teams on Saturday to round out its best effort of the series.
It won five of six matches, sweeping through pool play unbeaten on Friday – including an upset win over Fiji – and comfortably accounting for South Africa (28-12) and the Scots in the Plate division.
The result came after the upset of the tournament when Kenya beat New Zealand 19-14 in the semi-finals.
The thrilling 19-14 win in extra time stunned the crowd who fully expected the series leader to advance, particularly as it led 14-0 with just four minutes remaining.
However, the Kenyans responded to first-half tries by Tomasi Cama and Tim Mikkelson with tries to Oscar Ouma and captain Collins Injera, the latter a patient effort well after the final hooter had sounded.
Ouma grabbed the winner 40 seconds into ”golden try” extra time against the tiring host to book a first final in 14 years of trying in Wellington.
Crowd favourite in Wellington, Kenya has threatened many times but never won a world series event.
Meanwhile, Australian coach Michael O’Connor was pleased with his youthful team’s progress over two days.
”Unfortunately, New Zealand took their A-game into that quarter-final and we had no answer to that. Apart from that, it was a good weekend,” O’Connor said. ”We’ve been slow out of the blocks. We’ve had a bad run of injuries through the first couple of tournaments. And this is a really tough tournament this one – I’m really pleased the boys finished on a high.”
Australia remains 10th in the standings after four of nine tournaments.
The fifth leg is in Las Vegas next week.
Kenya and England were to contest the Cup final on Saturday after Kenya’s win over New Zealand in the semi-finals, while England pipped Samoa.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.