Australia’s third-place finish in the third leg of the 2014 Rugby Sevens World Series, played at Port Elizabeth, South Africa, from December 13-14, has kept the team in the hunt for qualification for the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in 2016.
And with the top four teams gaining automatic qualification for the Games, that means Sydney University’s three Australian Rugby Sevens representatives, skipper Ed Jenkins, Greg Jeloudev and Nick Malouf, are on track for Olympic representation and a possible medal.
While Jeloudev missed the Port Elizabeth tournament with an ankle injury, he should be fit for the fourth leg of the series, to be played in Wellington, New Zealand, on February 6 and 7.
Australia defeated Portugal 32-21 and Zimbabwe 50-0 in their first two pool matches in Port Elizabeth, before losing 31-21 to Argentina to finish second in Pool B. They rebounded with a 31-19 win over Fiji in the quarter-final before going down 19-10 to South Africa in their semi-final.
The Aussies defeated Argentina 34-19 in an important play-off for third and fourth, while the host nation defeated New Zealand 26-17 in the final.
With Australia having finished runners-up to South Africa in the Dubai leg of the World Series, they now hold down fourth place in the series. South Africa head the World Series on 59 points, with Fiji (51), New Zealand (47), Australia (46) and England (37) making up the top five.