RUGBY SEVENS: Australia's men have taken some consolation out of their fifth-place finish at the Dubai Sevens.
The Thunderbolts' assault on the first instalment of the World Sevens campaign was ultimately brought to an end with a loss to Wales, but were pleased to beat New Zealand (20-12), before overcoming Scotland (19-12) in the battle between fifth and sixth.
After its own stunning 40-0 quarter-final loss to eventual winners South Africa, New Zealand had been hellbent on making amends against the Aussies and led 7-5 at the break.
However, Sam Myers, Henry Hutchison, displaying some individual brilliance, and Alex Gibbon sealed the win for the Aussies with second-half tries.
Likewise, the Scots had led at the break before Tim Anstee got Australia home with a late try, and ensured the side headed to the Cape Town Sevens with just the one loss.
"We were really disappointed this morning ... we felt like we missed a trick against Wales, but as soon as that finished we wanted to finish fifth and beat New Zealand for the first time in a long time,” head coach Andy Friend said.
South Africa beat Olympic gold medallists and two-time defending series champions Fiji 26-14 in the final.
Earlier, Australia lost 21-12 to the Welsh after leading 12-7 at the break. Wales then stormed back with 14 unanswered points.
"Credit to Wales they are a good aside and they played better than us and they took their chances,” Friend said.
Friend paid tribute to Australian veteran Pat McCutcheon, who was playing in his last tournament in green and gold.
"He's been a tremendous ambassador for the game and been wonderful for this program and group of players. It's nice to send him out on a good note,” he said.
The Aussie women and defending champions went down to New Zealand 17-5 in their final the previous day.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.