Cape Town 7s: Cracking semifinals await
QUARTERFINAL WRAP: We are set for two cracking semifinals in Round Two of the Sevens World Series.
Hosts South Africa will face Fiji, while New Zealand are up against The United States.
South Africa had to work hard for their 21-12 win Scotland in the quarterfinals, while Fiji cruised past a hapless Spain 46-7.
Australia rallied late in their quarterfinal encounter with New Zealand, scoring two late tries to narrow the final score to 17-26.
The United States also came from behind to beat England 19-12.
The Challenge Trophy semifinals are between Samoa and France, with Canada facing Argentina.
It was a nervous start for South Africa – down to 11 players through injury – and Scotland in the first of the Cup quarterfinals. Justin Geduld got the BlitzBoks on the scoreboard, a loopy pass to him in the middle of the Scottish defence and sidestepped through. Siviwe Soyizwapi was then sin-binned for a high tackle.
With the extra man Scotland found a gap from a line-out deep inside the South African half and Sam Pecqueur levelled matters up (7-all) right on the stroke of half-time.
Scotland was reduced to six players when Robbie Fergusson was binned for a neck roll. Rosko Specman latched onto a well-executed kick forward and the BlitzBoks were ahead again. Pecqueur scored Scotland’s and his second to narrow the gap to 12-14. After a patient build-up, Werner Kok eventually busted his way through the Scottish defence to seal the win – 21-12.
It was a great start for Fiji, as Waisea Nacuqu was able to shift around the outside of Manuel Sainz-Trapaga. But they were instantly down to six for a high tackle by Meli Derenalagi. Francisco Hernández broke through the depleted Fiji defence and Spain was on the board.
Kalione Nasoko kicked forward in a scrappy attack, got a favourable bounce and was able to tap the ball down. Jerry Tuwai had a simple run down the left wing from a scrum and Sevuloni Mocenacagi completed the first-half scoring – 24-7.
Kalione Nasoko backed himself down the right wing and had no trouble passing the Spain defence and opening the second-half scoring. Spain battled bravely, but was no match for the skill and pace of the Fijians – Alosio Naduva, Beni Vota and Alosio Naduva completed the rout, 46-7.
New Zealand raced into an early lead against Australia – Etene Nanai-Seturo sidestepping Maurice Longbottom and Amanaki Nicole coming on the cut-back. Maurice Longbottom unleashed his speed to get Australia back in it.
Right on the half-time hooter Sione Molia put Amanaki Nicole into space and New Zealand took a 21-5 lead into the break.
Nicole repeated the late cut-back routine to get the scoring going after the break and seal his hat-trick. Ben O’Donnell finally found a favourable bounce from a John Porch grubber, as Australia attempted to fight their way back in the game. Henry Hutchison had the final say in the match, but it was far too little, too late – 17-26.
England got off to a flying start against the United States – 19 seconds for Alex Davis to hand off and opponent and cross the line. America hit straight back – a great grubber by Folau Niua, Martin Iosefo collecting and popping it up from the ground for Madison Hughes to score.
Right on the stroke of half-time Dan Bibby found some space stepping around the edges of a ruck and put England into a 12-7 lead at the break.
America’s high error count continued to skyrocket in the second half, but a powerful hand-off by Danny Barrett allowed America to level the scoring. And moments later Barrett used his power to collect a short pass and crash over from close range. There was time for a restart, but a penalty conceded by England ended the match – 19-12 for America.
South Africa 21-12 Scotland
Fiji 46-7 Spain
Australia 17-26 New Zealand
United States 19-12 England
Challenge Trophy quarterfinals
In the opening match of the day Samoa pushed forward and Wales were caught offside. Tomasi Alosio fed David Afamasaga, who cut back inside for the opening try to Samoa. Owen Jenkins stole the ball from a ruck and found Afon Bagshaw. He put Will Talbot-Davies into space for an easy try. But Samoa hit back through David Afamasaga. Samoa were down to six as Kirisimasi Savaiinaea was shown a yellow card for a high tackle on Will Talbot-Davies. Wales pushed the ball across to the right from a line-out and Owen Jenkins managed to get the try just before half time. Tupou had the final say as Samoa took a 19-14 lead into the break.
Alamanda Motuga put Samoa further clear. He received the ball from a ruck and there was nothing in front of him. Wales closed the gap when a superb pass from Luke Treharne found Ben Roach on the left wing. Siaosi Asofolau extended the gap after a great run from David Afamasaga. He played to Tomasi Alosio, who played to Asofolau. Dane Blacker had the final say, but Samoa advanced as a result of 29-26 win.
France were first on the board in their encounter with Japan – with Nisie Huyard released down the left. A lovely step and rotate from Thibaud Mazzoleni created acres of space. He found Jean Pascal Barraque on the inside and France took a 12-0 lead into the break.
France continued after the break, Paulin Riva broke through the middle of the Japanese defence. Thibaud Mazzoleni drew two defenders and found Samuel Alerte, whose used his strength to make the final 10 metres. Calum Randle concluded the scoring right on the final hooter – 31-0 to France.
Shingirai Katsvere opened the scoring for Zimbabwe against Canada – a lovely sidestep to get past Andrew Coe and some good speed to ensure the try. But Canada hit back through Coe, who set up Nathan Hirayama. Kudakwashe Chiwanza dummied and ran straight at the line to get Zimbabwe back in front. Connor Pritchard got the ball from the restart on the bounce, drove forward and powered over. Isaac Kaay completed the scoring as Canada closed the gap to 14-19.
Pat Kay’s speed was just too much for Zimbabwe, as he weaved inside two defenders then outside the third. Isaac Kaay was handed turnover ball out on the left and cut back inside for the try. Tapiwa Tsomondo scored a consolation try, but Canada won 28-24.
Ignacio Mendy opened the scoring for Argentina against Kenya, as everybody stopped playing while referee called advantage. He played the advantage. Franco Sabato got the second when he broke down the right wing and had an uncontested run to the line. Lautaro Bazan Velez and Ignacio Mendy added further tries as the South Americans raced into a 24-0 lead, before Leonard Mugaisi finally open Kenya’s account to make it 24-5 at the break.
Normal order was restored as Ignacio Mendy and Gaston Revol continued the scoring for Argentina after the break. Alvin Otieno finally got Kenya’s second and Vincent Onyala scored by throwing an outrageous to give the Africans a glimmer of hope. Johnstone Olindi and Samuel Motari added further tries, but the comeback was too late – Argentina winning 34-31.
Samoa 29-26 Wales
France 31-0 Japan
Canada 28-24 Zimbabwe
Argentina 34-31 Kenya