Aussies bow out with reputations enhanced
April 1, 2007

A much-improved Australian Sevens team has been knocked out of the Hong Kong Sevens quarter-finals by Samoa, 26-17, this afternoon.

Two tries for Lolo Lui inspired Samoa to a hard-fought win over a more resilient Australia, for whom Brumbies Super 14 speedster Tim Wright scored the pick of their three tries.

With the inclusion of three squad members - Shawn Mackay, Ant Sauer and Luke Inman - from the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Sevens team, the Australians looked more composed and displayed more attacking nous than previous tournaments.

On the first two days, the Australians made what appeared to be a difficult Pool F, containing tournament sixth seed France, bogey-side Tunisia and the improving Americans, look easy with the Aussies topping the standings after three deserved victories, the first time they have achieved the feat this season.

However, the speed, skill and power of Samoa proved to be a bridge to far for the Aussie outfit today.

Despite the loss coach Glen Ella remained buoyant about the team's Hong Kong exploits and expects more of the same at the inaugural Adelaide Sevens next weekend.

"Hong Kong has traditionally been a tough tournament for us, so to win our pool and then hang in with Samoa for most of the match is a good result," Ella said.

"The experience the new guys brought to the team really helped us in some tight moments on the first two days and I think with another week of training together we will be better again in Adelaide.

"Our spirits have been raised and we are now excited to come home and play in front of a vocal home crowd next week."

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