Tuesday’s rugby news has the Aussie Sevens finishing third, the Waratahs and Brumbies bringing in young replacements and Fiji on track to win the Pacific Islands challenge.
Sevens win third place
Australia have clinched third place in the Vancouver Sevens, as they beat Fiji 19-12 in this morning’s third place playoff. In just his second World Series tournament, John Porch helped Australia turn around a 12-point deficit with two critical five-pointers late in the second half.
After being run down in the final of Las Vegas installment last weekend against Fiji, Australia’s spirited fightback, despite a number of key injuries, saw them claim their third consecutive top-three finish under new coach Andy Friend. Australia will return home after Vancouver, with the next World Series leg in Hong Kong, on April 8-10.
TPN injured again
With only eight Super Rugby caps under his belt, Waratahs hooker Hugh Roach says he’s ready to take a major Super Rugby step. Roach is in line to come off the bench for the Waratahs this weekend, with Tatafu Polota-Nau (arm) out for the next six weeks.
Roach and Tolu Latu will compete for the No.2 jersey, with likely minutes off the bench for the player not picked. “The big key areas for me as a hooker are my lineout throwing and my scrummaging, and I feel as though since my debut both those areas have gone up pretty well,” Roach said.
Hyne in for Brumbies
22-year-old Ben Hyne has been called into the Brumbies squad for the two-match tour of South Africa and will link with the Brumbies in Cape Town ahead of this weekend’s clash against the Stormers. The former carpenter drove to Canberra from Brisbane in late 2015 to participate in Brumbies pre-season training.
“He came here for an opportunity, he’s really impressed and made a huge impact with his energy,” coach Stephen Larkham said. The Brumbies also hope Ita Vaea will be fit in the coming weeks after dislocating his finger while David Pocock is expected to be ready to play against the Stormers despite breaking his nose in the win against the Force.
Fiji win Pacific Challenge match
The Fiji Warriors are on course to win the Pacific Rugby Challenge in Suva after a convincing 44-14 win over Japan A. That makes it two wins out of two for the host team, with the last of their round-robin games to come against Tonga A who have lost both their matches, with the latest defeat being 50-0 at the hands of Samoa A.
Sale Sorovaki, the Host Union Tournament Director, said the home team performed well and was a highly professional outfit, but emphasised that the score did not do the difficult game justice.