Sports

Only victory on Aussies' mind

After laksa-making 
challenge, they aim to rule 
at the National Stadium

They were humbled 34-5 by Fiji in the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Sevens last Sunday and eventually finished fourth, after being pipped by South Africa 14-12 in the play-off for third place.

But Australia are upbeat about their chances in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Sevens players Sam Myers (above, right) and Stephan van der Walt say the target is to win the Singapore leg this weekend to close the gap on the Fijians, who currently lead the series standings on 128 points.

The Aussies are currently fourth in the standings on 105 points and, speaking at a media gathering at the Lau Pa Sat Festival Market yesterday, van der Walt, 25, said: "We always go into tournaments trying to win it all and we have come close a couple of times this year so our aim is to take the cup home this weekend.

"The only way we lose these games is if we do not perform well so if everyone gives it his all, we have a good chance."

While Myers agreed with his teammate, he conceded that it will not be an easy task to overtake series' reigning champions, Fiji.

"Fiji are really unpredictable, they have a very different style to anyone else on the circuit and they are really good with their off-loading, they run their lines well and they have silky smooth hands to boot," said Myers.

"Their playing style makes it harder to try and stop them, but we've grown as a team since Dubai and I believe we have what it takes."

At their best, Fiji are unstoppable, but they have fluffed their lines.

They lost to the South Africa in the semi-finals of the Wellington Sevens by a stunning scoreline of 31-0 and were given a scare by minnows Canada in Hong Kong last weekend, needing to rally to squeak by 19-17.

Myers, 26, said: "These days, you can't look past any team and, when you look at this series, you've got the top four of New Zealand, South Africa, Fiji and ourselves, but we are not taking that for granted because any team on their day can win it."

Van der Walt is embracing the challenge.

"The series so far has been very competitive, more competitive than in previous years. It's very tough just to get out of the pools this year," he said.

"A lot of players have come into the circuit this year which has made it tougher, but that's why we enjoy that battle and the competitiveness and that's what we are looking forward to at the Singapore Sevens."

Rugby