RUGBY SYDNEY 7S
The Olympics are six months away but Tim Walsh insists time is still on his side despite Australia's limp Sydney finish extending their world sevens rugby series title drought beyond two years.
The hosts were thumped 43-7 by the United States on Sunday morning in a loss that ended their title hopes, before a 24-7 defeat to series leaders New Zealand consigned them to sixth.
The duo of defeats followed encouraging wins against Japan and Scotland on Saturday and a third place at last weekend's New Zealand leg.
Not since Sydney in 2018 have the men won a world series leg, with just two silvers and two bronze medals to show since.
Walsh, who won gold with the women's team in Rio, has been at the helm since Andy Friend's departure after the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
He offered no excuses for the United States hiding but said there had been progress and was no need to panic ahead of July's Tokyo Games.
"If someone gets beaten you can go into crisis mode but it's literally what happens in our game," Walsh said.
"You can get massive wins and massive losses cause it's so volatile and definitely there will be (more peaks and troughs before Tokyo).
"We were starved of the ball and when we did have it we were lucky to go two phases, so we barely even fired a shot.
"Everything was going their (USA's) way, but that's where we've got to learn to stem it."
Converted track sprinter Trae Williams was quiet on the opening day's play and was replaced for Luke Morahan on Sunday due to hamstring tightness.
That pair are among a number of fresh faces in the squad trying to stake a claim with just six tournaments to play before the Olympics.
"It's (time) not limited ... that's a lot of footy," Walsh said.
"You want to have your secure core group and you need some depth to it, so we're trying to make sure everything is covered."
The United States beat England 17-10 to claim bronze while Olympic champions Fiji - seventh entering the tournament - burst to life with a tough 12-10 win over South Africa to take gold.
Almost 35,000 fans braved the scorching heat and heavy storms that came on Saturday and Sunday respectively at the new Parramatta venue.
The next stop on the men's world tour is Los Angeles from February 29.