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Aussies win in London to lead the World Series

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30th May, 2022

The Aussie sevens men took out the London Sevens at Twickenham against long-time rivals New Zealand and are now leading the HSBC World Series standings.

The women have traditionally been the stars for Rugby Australia and in the sevens program they were the Rio Olympic Gold medalists. They recently won tournaments and a World Series title.

It must have been hard at times for the men, putting in all the effort and training but not getting the outcomes they were aiming for.

This performance by the Australian men’s sevens team is seriously outstanding.

Apart from the fact it was the first tournament win since 2018, it was also the first cup final win over New Zealand in 20 years.

As the captain Nick Malouf said, none of the current squad has ever won a tournament.

It has been an enormous turnaround by the men. Post the Olympics, the only coverage by the media was in regard to the issues on the flight back to Australia.

Henry Hutchinson

(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)


The other coverage more recently was about the swap in coaches. There was not a lot around the actual rugby.

So it is good to see a bit of the spotlight on the men’s program.

To see how far this team has come in the last few months, consider only six of this 13-man London squad were at the Olympics and eight were in the first Dubai tournament in December.

Also note that Henry Hutchison the second most experienced player and he got injured and did not play in any of the finals.

Compare this to the women where ten of the players from the Toulouse/ Langford tournaments played in most of the tournaments this season and were at the Olympics.

Some may ask, who is this team?

It is a bunch of quality, hard-working lads.


As the captain Malouf said, it was a tradesman-like performance.

These players just do all the basics really well. Of note is the quality of the defence, which has become outstanding.

In the past I always felt eventually the Australian defensive line would break but you do not have that feeling with this team.

Arguably the only X-factor players are the twinkle toes of Maurice Longbottom and the blinding speed of Corey Toole.

Maurice Longbottom evades a tackle

(Photo by Roger Sedres/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

If you haven’t seen Toole’s length-of-the-field try against Canada, check it out.

A name some would know and someone who has been with the sevens then had a stint at the Rebels and is now back with the sevens program is Henry Hutchinson.


Dietrich Roache is just 20 years old. He debuted at the Olympics and is playing way above his age and currently is the World Series’ leading point scorer.

Then you have Josh Turner. I guess I would say he is a seasoned sevens player.

Henry Paterson has a magnificent moustache, and he scored three tries in the final and was player of the final. He has really stepped up.

The media love a rugby league link, so his claim to fame is that his father played for the Roosters and he tried out for the Roosters but was cut so he turned to rugby with Easts in the Shute Shield.

It will be interesting to keep an eye on youngster Ben Dowling, who is in the NSW academy system and has been selected for the Junior Wallabies.

Who are the others?

Over the last couple of tournaments, there have been a range of Shute Shield club ring-ins. In London it was Ben Marr (Warringah), Max Burey (Northern Suburbs) and Matthew Gonzalez (Eastwood).


All these players, and the others, who have been brought in have done a terrific job for the team each time.

Obviously some serious credit must also go to coach John Manenti, Chucky Standard and the coaching crew.

Check out if want to read a game-by-game summary.

A couple of highlights were that the Aussies lost to New Zealand in the pool game but won in the final. The final was won in golden point.

The Australians got revenge over France in the pool. France defeated them in the quarter-final last week in Toulouse and in the quarter-final against South Africa, they were down 17-nil but came back to win 21-17.

If you get the chance, check out the final. It is well worth a watch.

A final observation is that it is interesting the men won in London and the Sydney Morning Herald did an article.


Not even the women winning tournaments this year and the overall World Series title got an article, although their successes were included in the men’s article.

In fact, it is the first rugby sevens article since December 2021 when both the men’s and women’s teams performed well in Dubai.