Australia’s Sevens just pipped for gold

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Sydney University rugby representatives and Elite Athlete Program Members Pat McCutcheon, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley and Ed Jenkins have won silver medals at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, claiming Australia’s first Sevens medal since winning bronze in Kuala Lumpur 1998, when Rugby Sevens was first granted entry to the Games.

The Australian’s, missing injured five-eighth and crucial playmaker Foley since the final Group match on Tuesday, led New Zealand 10-7 at half-time in the final last night.

But just as the All Blacks have done on so many occasions against the Wallabies in recent times, the Kiwis roared to the front at the back end of the second half.

With the Australian’s leading 17-7 with seven minutes left, a famous Aussie victory looked more than possible. But the Kiwi’s showed that they can never be counted out, and scored three unanswered tries to close out the gold medal match 24-19.

Sydney University club captain and Australian Sevens captain McCutcheon was downcast but proud of his team at the end of the game.

 “A few mistakes were costly and our execution wasn’t 100 per cent; a few dropped balls and pushed passes really cost us,” McCutcheon said.

“But for the boys to win the silver medal it’s reward for all the hard work that has been put in over the past 12 months, and it’s a tremendous achievement to record Australia’s best result at a Commonwealth Games.”

Earlier in the tournament Australia warmed up with a 33-0 victory over Uganda, before Nick Phipps (studying a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences) picked up two tries as Australia thrashed Sri Lanka 42-5.

Despite losing their final group game to England 21-19, with McCutcheon and Foley (studying a Bachelor of Economics) both scoring tries, Australia comfortably dispatched Kenya 27-5 in the quarter-finals.

Australia then went on to defeat South Africa 17-7 in the semi-finals, to set up their final against eventual champions New Zealand.