Manenti, Sevens taking mental advantage of Commonwealth Games after London heroics | Latest Rugby News


Australian Men’s Sevens coach John Manenti uses their recent success in London as thrust for an elusive gold medal en route to the Commonwealth Games.

The Australians will compete in Birmingham as one of the form teams, with the competition kicking off on July 29.

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They are currently second in the World Series behind South Africa, but have scored more points than the Blitzboks (132 to 129), with only the top seven results contributing to the overall ladder.

This comes from a breakthrough title in London two months ago, beating New Zealand in extra time to claim their first event since Sydney in 2018.

In addition, they finished second to a subpar team at last month’s Oceania Sevens, beating a relatively strong Fijian outfit twice in two days.

With this in mind, Manenti believes they will return to the UK with full confidence as they look even better than their silver medal in Delhi in 2010.

“We loved London and I’m sure we are based at Warwick Uni and we will embrace that. There’s nothing better than Aussies going to England and doing well,” said Manenti Rugby.com.au

“We really had that mantra whether it’s the Ashes or Rugby Aussies love to play against the English and in England.

“We’ll use that as a thrust to replicate that in London.”

The Australians are going back with extra ammunition with Samu Kerevi and recent Wallabies call-up Mark Nawaqantiawase called in to the 13-player squad.

While their presence has been welcomed by the program with open arms, Manenti notes that they are “value-added x-factors,” with leading scorer Dietrich Roache and Impact Player of the Year leader Corey Toole ready to go.

“It’s important to note that both guys are value-added x-factors. We don’t trust them to play the heart and soul of every minute,” he said.

“We’ve got a really strong grassroots group that’s been through the series and going through the series knowing how to be successful and these two are just going to expand on this with bells and whistles to give us that difference.

“I think we have a really good balance of workers and players with x factors, people who have played in big experienced games like Nick Malouf and Henry Hutchison, Maurice Longbottom. We also have some newer guys like Ben Marr, Matt Gonzalez , guys who have come in this season and also a young shooter like Ben Dowling who has played a few tournaments with us.

“A lot of the guys have had success in London and really enjoyed it and we’re going back to the UK where we’ve had some success lately. The fact that we can add Mark Nawaqanitawase and Samu (Kerevi) really gives us a difference.

“I think it offers complete, different ways of attacking. Someone like Corey Toole set the tour on fire, but then I get someone like Marky who offers something completely different and we can attack with different modes… we have different players who can play different styles and we are sure we can be in a good position to attack this tournament.”

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