Aussie men knock off Kiwis to make Sydney Sevens semis

Australian youngster Maurice Longbottom scored a sensational try with his first touch in the quarter-finals against New Zealand to help his team make yet another semi-final of the Sydney Sevens, on the back of a 24-12 win over their trans-Tasman rivals.

Australia will tackle Argentina at 5.58pm for a place in the final against either USA or South Africa, who play in their semi-final at 5.36pm.

New Zealand got an early upper hand, scoring just 90 seconds into the match thanks to a clever kick and chase from Vilimoni Koroi down the right wing.

An error from New Zealand's Tim Mikkelson presented Ben O'Donnell with an easy five-pointer that evened the scores.

A high shot from the Kiwis gave Australia a chance to strike before half-time and that they did, with Charlie Taylor finishing off some crisp service from James Stannard.

Australia's 12-5 lead evaporated shortly after though as New Zealand scored to level things up once again.

Enter Longbottom. The 22-year-old - with his first touch - lit up Allianz Stadium with a sensational run to score. A lightning quick left-foot step helped him create space and his pace was too much for New Zealand's defenders.

"I just wanted to run," Longbottom said. "I was just so excited. I got the space ... and just took off. It was good to get the first try.

"It's definitely a lot better having your home crowd behind your back. You run out and you just hear the roar and it just lifts you that little bit extra that you need - it gets you over the line.

"That was massive. After a little bit of a slip-up yesterday, I didn't get to play my last game [due to injury]. I rested up last night and it was good to get out there and get the first try of the weekend."

Leading by five, the job was not done by any stretch but captain Lewis Holland managed to get himself onto the scoresheet ensuring Australia would be there for the semi-finals after a hard-fought 12-point victory.

Longbottom will want to replicate his heroics in front of friends and family who have come in droves to support their man.

"Everyone's here today ??? I'm surprised you can't hear them in here," Longbottom said.

Longbottom's mother presented him with his first Australian jersey and he said emotions got the better of him.

"It was a very proud moment," he said. "I said I wasn't going to cry but she broke me down to tears. It was a good moment."

This story Aussie men knock off Kiwis to make Sydney Sevens semis first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.