Cape Town 7s: USA v Fiji in Final
SEMIFINAL WRAP: The United States will appear in the Final of the South African leg of the World Series for the first time.
The Americans – who will also play in back-to-back finals for the first time – will face Fiji in the Final on Sunday.
Fiji required an extra-time score to beat South Africa 17-12 in the first semifinal.
However, the United Stated had too much pace for New Zealand and after racing into a 19-0 half-time lead, held on in the second half to win 31-12.
The BlitzBoks and Kiwis will play off for third place.
Samoa and Argentina will contest the Challenge trophy Final, while Spain face England for fifth place.
South Africa worked the ball to Siviwe Soyizwapi on the right. Werner Kok smashed up in the centre, then it went out right to Rosko Specman and then Soyizwapi, who touched down. Vilimoni Botitu stepped between two defenders and raced over in the right corner. Waisea Nacuqu brushed off another defender to score Fiji’s second – who took that 12-5 lead into the break.
South Africa showed more patience in the second half, Justin Geduld and Rosko Specman worked a move in midfield to send Specman over and tie up the scores. It was brutally physical defence from Fiji and Alosio Naduva sneaked around the blindside of a ruck where South Africa left some space to score the winners – 17-12.
The United States got off to the perfect start against New Zealand. Stephen Tomasin opened the scoring through a patient build-up. Folau Niua set up Iosefo for the second try, as the Americans controlled the game. Danny Barrett brushed aside two defenders to get the third – as the United States took a 19-0 lead into the break.
America worked the ball down the right wing, before recycling and moving back left where Perry Baker was in open space and strolled over for the fourth try. New Zealand eventually produced the play they so desperately required. New Zealand won a turnover, Dylan Collier offloaded to Andrew Knewstubb and he raced over for the try. However, the Americans won a penalty, set up a line-out and worked to the left where Carlin Isles used his pace to put the matter beyond doubt. There was enough time for a consolation score to Taylor Haugh, but the Americans won comfortably 31-12.
South Africa 12-17 Fiji
New Zealand 12-31 United States
It was an aggressive start from Spain. Javier Carrion found space on the left, before feeding Pol Pla to open the scoring against Scotland. Sam Pecqueur eventually opened Scotland’s account, as he beat a couple of defenders. Javier Carrion put Spain back in the lead (12-7) right on the half-time hooter.
Spain withstood raid after raid, but brilliant defence kept the Scots at bay and eventually won a breakdown penalty. It saw them advance to the fifth-place play-off Final for the first time ever.
England looked certain to open the scoring first, but Dan Bibby dropped the ball in a great tackle by Lewis Holland. Will Muir did eventually get England on the board, sniping from a ruck close to the line. Maurice Longbottom eventually opened Australia’s account, but Tom Mitchell hit back right on the stroke of half-time – 12-7.
Longbottom stepped his way past a couple of defenders early in the second half to give Australia a slender lead. The lead was short-lived, as Tom Bowen went over for England’s third try. Will Muir shrugged of a defender and sprinter over to stretch England’s lead to 10 points. Tom Connor pulled a try back for Australia with just seconds remaining on the clock, but the Aussies could not reclaim the restart and England won 24021.
Scotland 7-12 Spain
Australia 21-24 England
Challenge Trophy semifinals
John Vaili struck first for Samoa against France, who hit back through Thibaud Mazzoleni. Siaosi Asofolau and Alamanda Motuga scored further tries as Samoa took a 19-7 lead into the break. Alatasi Tupou opened the second-half scoring, with Tusitala stretching the Samoan lead – 31-7 in the end.
Lautaro Bazan Velez opened the scoring for Argentina, but from the restart Renzo Barbier is yellow carded for taking out a player in the air. Matt Mullins and Connor Braid made them pay as Canada took a 14-5 lead into the break. With Canada a man down Bazan Velez pulls a try back for Argentina and then Santiago Mare puts Argentina ahead as Canada lost another man to the sin bin. Franco Sabato extended Argentina’s lead – making it 24-14 in the end.
Samoa 31-7 France
Canada 14-24 Argentina
Tomi Lewis opened Wales’ account, while Naoki Motomura replied for Japan – as the teams went into the break tied at 7-all. After the break Afon Bagshaw bursts through a tired-looking Japanese defence. Tomi Lewis then stretched Wales’ lead and Luke Treharne completed the win – 28-7.
Johnstone Olindi opened the scoring for Kenya in the all-Africa affair, while Daniel Taabu doubled the lead. Dennis Ombachi got a third for Kenya, before Shingirai Katsvere opened Zimbabwe’s account right on the stroke of half-time. Vincent Onyala scored for Kenya early in the second half. Stephan Hunduzza got one back for Zimbabwe, but Vincent Onyala hit straight back. Stephan Hunduzza had the final say, as Kenya won 31-19.
Wales 28-7 Japan
Zimbabwe 19-31 Kenya