Rugby: Australia thrash NZ in Sevens international

Charles Piutau of New Zealand runs the ball during the Men's Sevens exhibition match between Australia and New Zealand at Allianz Stadium. Photo / Getty Images.
Charles Piutau of New Zealand runs the ball during the Men's Sevens exhibition match between Australia and New Zealand at Allianz Stadium. Photo / Getty Images.

Australia have thrashed trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand 35-19 in their one-off Sevens Rugby international at Allianz Stadium today.

With two tournaments left on the World Sevens calendar this year, New Zealand are the No.1 side, with Australia back in sixth place.

However, the locals defied their ranking and led from start to finish against the heavyweights of rugby's Twenty20 equivalent, running away with the match five tries to three.

A penalty from the first ruck after the kick-off allowed Australia to open their account after just 38 seconds, with Jordan Tuapou producing a big left foot step to cross under the posts.

New Zealand hit back shortly after with Jack Wilson showing great speed down the right touchline, but from there it was all one-way traffic for the Australians wearing lime-green.

Captain Matt Lucas, brother of Queensland star Ben, scored right before halftime for a 14-7 lead, before former Gold Coast rugby league player Shannon Walker crossed for arguably the try of the match shortly after the break.

Despite his enormous potential, Walker's league career never got off the ground, but his brilliant individual effort down the left-hand touch-line where he beat three defenders before evading the fullback with a left-foot step, showed he has a promising future in his new code.

An intercept saw Lindsay Crook score next for Australia, and despite two late tries for New Zealand through Joe Webber and Charles Piutau, the home side put the result beyond doubt with a late touch-down to Lewis Holland.

The IRB Sevens head to Scotland for a May 5-6 tournament.

A healthy crowd arrived early to see the Sevens international, ahead of the showpiece Super Rugby fixture between NSW and the Crusaders on Sunday.

-AAP

- APNZ

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