The Australian men’s sevens rugby team has finished seventh in Singapore after losing to powerhouses Fiji and New Zealand on finals day.
An inexperienced Australian team lost to world champions Fiji (19-14) in the Cup quarterfinal and then New Zealand (31-7) in the Plate semifinal.
Two Fijian tries in the last 90 seconds ended Australia’s Cup aspirations in heartbreaking fashion.
Despite being on the back foot for large portions of the first half, Australia hit back after an early Fiji try with two converted tries of their own from James Stannard and then Sam Figg to take a nine-point lead to the break.
With the game entering its final stages deep into the second period, a loose ball at the ruck was gathered by Jasa Veremalua who sprinted clear on the right to give Fiji hope.
Straight from the ensuing kick off – and with the final play of the game – the islanders won the ball and Taliga held off the tackle of Boyd Killingworth to slam the ball down and rescue a win from the jaws of defeat for Fiji.
Australia’s campaign at the National Stadium then came to an abrupt end with a comprehensive defeat to series-chasing New Zealand.
The Aussies were in contention at the main break but three second half tries delivered New Zealand a comfortable result.
Kenya went on to win a World Series event for the first time by beating ladder leaders Fiji (30-7) in the Cup Final. South Africa came third having comfortably seen off the challenge of Argentina while Samoa stunned New Zealand to take the Plate and finish fifth.
The series heads to Paris (13-15 May) and London (21-22 May) for the final two rounds.