Aussie Sevens' Olympic prep takes a hit

·3-min read

The Australian women's sevens side have been dealt a reality check in their final Tokyo 2021 preparations, dominated by New Zealand's Black Ferns then losing to Fiji.

Following a 34-5 drubbing at the hands of New Zealand, the Aussies were then rocked in a massive upset by the Fijian women, losing 19-12.

Speaking after his side's loss to the Black Ferns, coach John Manenti said they were defensively well off the mark in Townsville.

"We spoke about it. We knew what was coming. There were no surprises to what they did," he told AAP.

"But we were sitting there watching them, waiting for them to play rather than going at them, and defensively, we really let ourselves down."

"We have to start better. We've got to get out of blocks and be physical, and show that we're we're capable of denying them opportunity."

The same cracks appeared in their defence when facing Fiji, as the visitors raced out to a 12-0 halftime lead before holding off a brief comeback to win 19-12.

Charlotte Caslick played a sweeper role for the Aussies and was their standout player for the day.

The 26-year-old saved four likely tries in two matches with a number of chase down tackles when the opposition looked clear to score.

Meanwhile, the Australian men's side have registered just one win from their four matches to date.

On Saturday, they beat Oceania, then fell to undefeated Fiji in the evening fixture.

Coach Tim Walsh said players from Oceania's side showed during their contest why they should be considered for Olympics squad selection.

"Those games are always tough because you're playing mates versus mate and they're wanting a position at the Olympics," he said.

"I was really impressed with both teams, the way that they fought and executed certain things so yeah, it's certainly sort of helped with selections and a great hit out leading into Tokyo."

Josh Coward and Lachlan Miller were standouts against Oceania, but in the evening Fiji showed why they're the reigning Olympic champions with a stylish performance, winning 19-7.

Fiji's patented offloads and flair paid dividends as the Olympic gold medallists proved they're still the team to beat after downing New Zealand earlier in the day 21-19.

Fijian captain Jerry Tuwai said he was pleased with his team's form after 12 months without international competition.

"I think we are going in the right direction and we trust our coaches and our management will point us to a good spot," he told AAP.

At the end of day two, Fiji sit atop the men's standings undefeated with New Zealand trailing on three wins.

Australia are out of contention for the title and their focus will be on beating New Zealand on the final day.

In the women's competition, the Black Ferns sit comfortably atop the ladder scoring 133 points in just four games as Fiji and Australia jostle for second place.

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