Australia’s men’s sevens outfit has moved within one victory of a berth at next year’s Olympics but their dominance over two days at the Oceania Sevens doesn’t mean it will come easy.
As expected, Tim Walsh’s side made light work of American Samoa and Tonga on day two of the titles in Fiji, winning 66-0 and 24-0 to ensure they topped their group in Suva.
Those victories followed a combined 111-7 scoreline they racked up in wins against Nauru and Vanuatu on day one.
Saturday will pit Australia against the equally-impressive Samoa, with the winner earning passage to Tokyo’s Games and the loser left to battle for a spot in a last-ditch tournament on Games eve.
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Samoa beat Australia at the corresponding tournament a year ago, while they also won 21-20 on the way to the Las Vegas Sevens final earlier this year.
Walsh has been planning for this game ever since, even bringing the team to Fiji for a training camp five weeks ago to ensure they left no stone unturned.
“You know it’s there, it seems a long way away and now it’s here,” Walsh said of their high stakes encounter.
“So it’s about holding that composure and excitement as well… the team’s in good shape and looking forward to it.”
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Australia’s women also remain unbeaten after three games at the tournament, with a confidence-boosting 17-5 defeat of world champions New Zealand the highlight in between victories over Japan and Canada.