Back to basics for Aussies

Thu, 06 Dec 2012 10:16
Large michael o connor h s Large australia 7s train 630 Large michael o connor aus 7s Large con foley australia 7s 630

Australian coach Michael O'Connor has been cracking the whip this week as he looks to get his team in shape ahead of round three of the IRB Sevens World Series.

Australian coach Michael O'Connor has been cracking the whip this week as he looks to get his team in shape ahead of round three of the IRB Sevens World Series, in Port Elizabeth on Saturday and Sunday.

O'Connor said his team has "worked hard" to correct mistakes made at the Dubai leg last weekend, where the team was eliminated in the shield semifinal and finished last in the 16-team event.

The Aussie mentor said fundamentals and a lack of cohesion had let his side down in Dubai.

"We've been working hard this week," O'Connor said.

"Practice makes perfect and we've just got to get more practice in.

"We have a young squad together, we need more time to gel and I think we'll be a lot better this weekend."

O'Connor said the entire team could learn from the mistakes of Dubai, including himself.

"We can all do better," O'Connor said.

"I made a coaching error in our pool game against Canada.

"We were up 28-14 with a minute to go and I emptied the bench to give the new guys some experience and that really cost us."

O'Connor's squad for Dubai featured four debutants, after injury ruled out several key players including captain Ed Jenkins.

While he was happy to add further depth to the squad, O'Connor admitted Dubai wasn't the ideal testing ground for the new players.

"It is a positive to get these guys exposure, but getting it on the circuit isn't the best way to do it," O'Connor said.

The Port Elizabeth leg take place on Saturday (December 8) and Sunday (December 9).

The Australians will face hosts South Africa, France and Samoa in pool play on Saturday.

Australia: Damon Anderson, Peter Lee, Sean McMahon, Will Miller, Jordan Tuapou, Con Foley (captain), Cam Clark, Greg Jeloudev, Nick Malouf, Jack Grant, Pama Fou, Laloifi Junior Laloifi.

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