The Australian Men’s Sevens program have won the UON Central Coast Sevens tournament, keeping their preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympic qualifier on track.
The tournament was jam packed with talent and featured squads, including the New Zealand national team, strong club sides from Fiji, Canada and Germany, as well as a development side from the USA. However the Aussie Thunderbolts defeated all sides they faced with relative ease on their way to claim the 2015 UON Central Coast Sevens title.
The Thunderbolts went undefeated on day one, only tested by New Zealand club side Rangatoa, winning 33-21. Australia went on to beat Yamacia (12-7) in the quarter-final, before running rampant against Wellington (33-7) in the semi. In the cup final, Henry Hutchison led the way with a man of the match display as Australia defeated Tabadama (31-21).
The tournament was an exciting exhibition of top level rugby and was an excellent opportunity for young developing players to test themselves against some of the best players in the world. Rangatoa rake Sam Livingston told The Newsroom that running out against the likes of New Zealand Captain DJ Forbes and Australian star Henry Hutchison was an unforgettable experience.
“I found myself genuinely star struck out on the field,” he said.
“These are the guys you watch on TV and try to emulate, so to run out against them was an absolute honour and [it] gave the boys a really good gauge of where we are at and where we have to get to.”
Livingston scored two tries in his first two outings of the tournament and was one of many young stars to shine over what was an exhilarating two days of competition.
Australia now turn their attention to Auckland for the Rio 2016 Regional Olympic qualifier. – Jackson Thomas
Top photo of the Thunderbolts team after winning the final, from Central Coast Sevens official Facebook page.