Dunbar Games bound

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Sydney University Football Club five-eighth Stu Dunbar could be Commonwealth Games bound after the Aussie Sevens side collected gold at the World Rugby Sevens Series tournament played in London at the weekend.

Dunbar was in the Australian side that broke a 20-year drought in defeating New Zealand in a golden point finish after the two sides were locked at 14-14 at full time.

The Australians triumphed 19-14 in extra time, with Henry Paterson finishing with three tries while also pulling off a match-saving tackle. The win was a boost for Australia’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games preparation.

The World Rugby Sevens Series title will now be decided in the final round in Los Angeles on 27-28 August. Australia sits second in the overall standings, just two points behind leaders South Africa.

Dunbar is a product of the Wagga Wagga Crows Rugby Club and Scots College. He joined Sydney University Football Club in 2014 and made his First Grade debut in 2015. He has also played for the Melbourne Rebels in the Super Rugby competition. He and fellow SUFC member, prop Angus Bell, made their Australian Sevens debuts in Los Angeles in 2021.

The Australians’ effort in the final on Sunday was their first men’s Sevens win over New Zealand in a World Series final since 2002 in Brisbane and their first title anywhere in three years.

“I cannot be prouder of everyone’s effort,” captain Nick Malouf said. “We’ve worked so hard for this so I’m glad we finally got the reward that I feel like we’ve deserved. This is the first Cup final that I, or anyone in this group, has won.”

The Aussies qualified for the decider after beating series leader South Africa and Samoa, leading to a re-match with New Zealand after their 24-19 Pool C defeat on Saturday.

Australia made the quarter-finals the previous week in Toulouse, where they also stunned New Zealand 24-19 to see them eliminated from the group stages for the first time in program history.

The victory vaults Australia to second place on the World Series ladder, sitting just two points behind South Africa.

The next task for the squad is the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham at the end of July before travelling to Los Angeles for the final round of the World Series in August.