Well, there are several rugby codes and the Wallabies can maintain hopes of a return to respectability, but the sevens have a tough row to hoe, given that they lost to not only New Zealand, but gasp, the United States when playing in South Africa.
They did beat Spain, 36 – 12, but they lost to the Yanks by the humbling score of 31 – 14 and 35 – 12 to the Kiwis.
Beating Spain is something like getting the better of your granny. Lachie Anderson scored a try in the very opening. Simon Kennewell had a three-bagger, Maurice Longbottom and Matt Hood got across in the second half.
The Aussies took an early lead against the U.S. when Boyd Killingworth scored a try, but they had no answer for Carlin Isles, who scored three tries in the first half.
If the U.S. beating an Australian side were not news enough, it should be truly startling to learn that the Yanks beat the Kiwis earlier.
“We knew after Dubai that the USA team was going to come out a better team, but that’s the nature of this competition at the moment,” Australia coach Andy Friend said.
Second half tries by Kennewell and Lewis Holland got the Aussies to within 21 – 12, but they could not continue their surge.
We knew it was going to be a tough pool,” Friend said. “We had our chances against USA and didn’t take them and, coming up in a ‘grand final’ match against the Kiwis, they were too good for us.”
This is a rather disturbing development. Rugby in the U.S. is typically played by failed gridiron players, who play at small colleges and view the game as an opportunity to drink beer and sing ribald songs.
The Aussie sevens will play next on home ground, but so far as South Africa is concerned, they are targeting finishing ninth.
As the tournament advances, Fiji will play South Africa, the U.S. will face Argentina, England meets New Zealand and Canada goes against France.