Just like a few other teams, Australia had a very promising start on day one, winning all their group stages games putting them at the top of their pool.
With plenty of young guns on the Aussie side like Josh Coward, Simon Kennewell, Liam McNamara, and Jeral Skelton selected to represent Australia for the Singapore 7s, they progressed through the first day undefeated and were scheduled to go against England the next day in the cup quarterfinals, where they lost to a score of 19-31.
Disheartened but unfazed, the men’s side looked ready to play against New Zealand. With almost a minute left on the clock and Australia trailing by 7 points, Maurice Longbottom scored a try on the left side, bringing his side back up to a score of 20-22 with the conversion still to come.
Josh Coward, the fresh young talent recently picked to represent the Aussie 7s side, had the whole stadium’s attention when he comfortably converted the try from 22 metres, levelling the score to 22-22 right before full time. The game then proceeded to overtime where New Zealand’s Tim Mikkelson scored the winner, ending the game straight away with a score of 22-27.
After the game, Josh Coward spoke exclusively to VAVEL, stating that he enjoyed playing in front of the surprisingly huge crowd of Aussie supporters regardless of his team’s results on day two.
“It was good, I enjoyed it. I’ve been trying to get on the world stage for a while now. Coach (Tim Walsh) is finally giving me a chance to showcase what I’ve got I guess and it’s just a pleasure playing alongside all the boys. I love it, it’s been really really good.”
After being asked if he gets nervous playing alongside teammates who are much more experienced, he said:
“No, I don’t get nervous at all because I know my boys and my team are gonna do whatever they have to do to get the win. Nerves do come but (they) don’t come from playing with the players I play with. It’s coming out and playing in front of all the people here and for all the people back home as well.”
Being very grateful for his pillars of support, the young gun’s inspiration to play his best comes from his beloved family and girlfriend.
“I come out and really just play for them. They put a lot of time and effort into my trainings and stuff like that all through the years and it’s been a long run.”
Josh Coward has since been reflective on his 1-on-1 defence and is looking to work on it for his next tournament. The undaunted Aussie side is looking to bounce back from this tournament and produce even better results in the upcoming tournaments.