Room for improvement for Australia in World Cup Sevens
AUSTRALIA may have fallen at the last hurdle in the Gold Coast Sevens, but captain Ed Jenkins says he has no doubt his players will pick themselves up and will improve during the remaining eight rounds of the IRB Sevens World Series.
Defending Series champion and World Cup Sevens holder New Zealand came from 12-0 down to beat Australia 40-19 in the final of the opening round of the 2013-14 series on Sunday night.
It was Australia's best result on home soil since winning the first round title in 2002, but Jenkins, who scored a try in the final and was later named the player of the tournament, told APN yesterday that there was plenty of room for
improvement ahead of round two in Dubai on November 29 and 30.
"Sure, it was a fantastic way to start the series - I cannot remember a better one and that's a real positive for us," said Jenkins, who admitted he was feeling a bit battered and bruised, and said he was also sporting a black eye - a result from a very physical final.
"To be honest, I think we can improve and our best rugby is still ahead of us.
"It's only very early days in the series so hopefully we can fix up a few things over the next five weeks or so and come out stronger in Dubai.
"We'd love to carry this momentum and the progress we made on the Gold Coast into that tournament for sure."
While Jenkins, a member of the 2010 Commonwealth Games silver-medal
winning side, was thrilled to be named the best in the tournament, he said he would give anything to make that a team award.
"I'd swap it in a flash for a Cup winner's medal," he said.
"We missed out on this opportunity, but I love to think we'll get another one."
Reaching the final also gave the New South Welshman an experience he says he hoped to savour again.
"Standing there singing the national anthem was an unbelievable feeling," he said.
"It was the first time I've experienced it in the series and if felt amazing."
The Australians, who head to Dubai in second place and three points behind the Kiwis on the ladder have been drawn in Pool B and will play Wales, Scotland and Spain.