Australia will have to beat reigning world series champions Fiji if they’re to progress beyond the quarter-finals of the season-opening Dubai Sevens.
Australia on Friday beat Kenya 14-12 and Wales 43-0 but lost their final pool match to England 21-5.
That’s left them facing the tough test of Fiji on Saturday in the quarter-finals.
“The game against England feels like one that got away,” coach Scott Bowen said after the loss.
“We created opportunities but our support play was a little off which made the difference.”
Bowen said Australia was excited at the prospect of playing the world series champions.
“Fiji played well today and will have our respect – there’s no doubt it will be a tough encounter and we’ll have to be at our very best to come out on top,” the interim coach said.
Fiji got off to a flying start with nine tries scored by nine different players in a 63-14 rout of Canada before beating Japan 21-17 and Argentina 28-0.
“We scored 16 tries today and every single one was converted, which is awesome,” Fiji coach Ben Ryan told gulfnews.com.
“We scored a lot of points and our defence on the whole was OK, with a couple of soft tries conceded.
“We haven’t fully revealed our hand as yet. We haven’t played at full throttle and we’re going to need to tomorrow.”
In the other quarter-finals, England take on Argentina, Samoa face New Zealand and South Africa tackle the United States.
The US hammered home their growing reputation with a stunning 14-12 win over New Zealand on Friday.
The US clinched the 2014/2015 season-ending London Sevens title in May, beating South Africa, England and Australia in the process.
In Dubai they proved that was no fluke with a rollercoaster struggle through Pool C.