The Kempsey Cannonballs Indigenous side was only established earlier this year but already at their second tournament, the Hamilton Sevens in Newcastle, they made a name for themselves and proved they are capable of clinching a title in the near future.
After topping their group and dominating their quarterfinal match up with Nelson Bay 2, the Indigenous team advanced to the semi-finals but were eliminated after suffering a 27-12 defeat at the hands of Hamilton A.
In a further boost to the Indigenous side’s confidence, the Cannonballs defeated the Nelson Bay 1 outfit, which went on to win the tournament, in their meeting in the pool stages.
“We had beaten the Nelson Bay 1 side, which won the tournament, earlier in the day,” Cannonballs Indigenous coach Jared Fuller said.
“It’s a sign that we are not far off and we can match it with those top teams.”
The Indigenous team finished the day recording three wins, one draw and a loss in a much better overall performance.
“There was a huge improvement in the more technical aspects – at the ruck and the breakdown – but there’s still plenty we can work on,” Fuller said.
“We were really good in defence, there was plenty of communication and worked together as a team.
“We were sensational in attack, we can score from anywhere on the field.”
Fuller believes the players, especially those who are new to rugby union, have enjoyed the competitions.
“Everyone seems to be really enjoying it, it was a great day on Saturday,” Fuller said.
“As I have said before, rugby sevens really suits the skill sets of the players.”
In their pool games, the Indigenous team defeated Hamilton B 40-0, Nelson Bay 1 19-15, drew 17-all with Singleton before they defeated Nelson Bay 2 40-10 in their quarterfinal meeting.
Australian Rugby Sevens representative Triston Reilly, who is currently unavailable for selection due to injury, supported the Cannonballs Indigenous side in Newcastle as he ran water for the team and passed on advice to the players throughout the day.
The Kempsey side will compete in the upcoming Indigenous Ella Sevens tournament held at Coffs Harbour on March 1 and 2.
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