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Aussies crash out of rugby sevens

03 August 2002

Julian Huxley missed a vital conversion with the last kick of the game to send Australia crashing out of the rugby sevens tournament.

Julian Huxley

Huxley missed the vital kick

Huxley stepped up to take the dropkick which would have levelled the score in the final seconds, but the ball hit both the posts and came flying back out handing Samoa a place in the semi-finals.

Samoa played some attractive rugby and they were well worth their shock 12 points to ten victory.

Afterwards Gaolo Elisala was obviously thrilled: “I’m very happy. It was a crucial game for us. The crowd really got behind us, which helped.”

Samoa’s next opponents will be New Zealand, the Commonwealth champions crushed Wales to progress to the semi-finals.

Wales never got into the game as the All Blacks proved exactly why they are the tournament favourites.

Afterwards Wales’ Matthew Robinson was left to wonder where it all went wrong: “I think we gave them a game, but perhaps, on the day, we didn’t have enough possession or enough composure.”

Despite the convincing victory New Zealander winger Bruce Reihana believes that they can be better: “We still have a lot of improvement to do. There is lots to work on for tomorrow. We got a bit more confrontational than we liked to.”

England looked promising as they took the lead against Fiji, but they failed to take control of the match and allowed the tournament's second seeds to come back to win 7-5.

Afterwards England Coach Joe Lydon couldn’t hide his disappointment: “I’m devastated,” he said, “At one try up we should have played more sensibly.”

Fullback Ben Gollings echoed Lydon’s feelings: “I’m absolutely gutted. We had our sights on gold and we know we were good enough. We made all the chances. We played better than them. Letting that one break away was our downfall. It’s a sad way to go out.”

In the fourth quarter final South Africa’s Jean de Villiers scored the winning try in the dying seconds to break Canadian hearts. The final score in the closely contested match was 17-12.

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