Mixed season for rugby team
THE Australian Men's Sevens team has finished the HSBC Sevens World Series in sixth place, following the final leg in London.
It was a mixed season for the Australians, with Far North Coast juniors Sam Croke and Alex Gibbon part of the team.
Croke played in Fiji while Gibbon was there for most of the world series events and scored the final try of the season at London.
Australia was beaten by the United States in the quarter-final before thumping New Zealand by a record margin in the fifth place semi-final.
Australia couldn't finish it off with a win, though, as the players went down fighting 28-17 against world series champions South Africa.
"Looking back on the year, when we were good, we were very good and when we were bad, we were rotten,” coach Andy Friend said.
"The highs and lows of that are too far apart so we need to flatten that out.
"That's part of having a young squad. We've been guilty of inconsistencies so we need to look at that.
"I have been really impressed by the young squad. They have a lot of fighting spirit and in time we'll be able to turn them into a championship-winning side.
"There has been a lot of talk about the young players but you need the older heads, too, like James Stannard who led us so well over the past two weeks.”
Australia finished the season on 113 points with a third-place finish in Hong Kong the highlight.
Meanwhile, Scotland was the eventual winners in London as they defeated hosts England 12-7 in a tense final at Twickenham.
"We have six tournaments that we're looking at in between now at the next world series,” Friend said.
"The most important thing for me is to get more players playing whether it's club competitions or through the nationals or what have you.
"When I get back, I'll continue to have discussions on how we can support that, not just at a senior level but at a junior level, too, to really open up opportunities for everyone to be playing the game of Sevens.”