Sat 1 Dec 2018 | 08:57

Dubai Sevens: Fiji and BlitzBoks knocked out

Dubai Sevens: Fiji and BlitzBoks knocked out
Sat 1 Dec 2018 | 08:57
Dubai Sevens: Fiji and BlitzBoks knocked out

QUARTERFINAL WRAP: Two of the main protagonists on the World Series, Fiji and South Africa, were knocked out in the quarterfinals on Saturday.

England produced the first sign of things to come in the opening round of the 2018-19 World Series when they dominated South Africa to record a comprehensive 22-5 win.

New Zealand beat Scotland 21-7 and Australia routed Argentina 38-0, before the big upset – the United States overpowering Fiji 24-14 in a Perry Baker-inspired performance.

New Zealand will now face England in the Cup semifinals, while America will face Australia in the last-four

Fiji goes into the fifth-place semifinal, where they face Argentina.

The BlitzBoks and Scotland face off in the other fifth-place play-off.

American coach Mike Friday said his team was “out of sorts” in the warm-ups, but the boys applied themselves and got their heads in the right space.

“We played a very sensible and a very mature game of rugby,” Friday said.

“We’ve had a lot of changes, the group have more experience and they’re getting used to these moments.

“It’s about taking big moments and we need to make that our habit.”

Dubai Sevens

Cup competition

England was quickest out the blocks in the opening quarterfinal against South Africa – Tom Mitchell working his way over from a ruck close to the BlitzBok line. South Africa lost the ball over the line, before Mitchell scored a second for England – a move that started with the BlitzBoks giving a penalty away in the England 22-metre area.

It was another South African mistake that gifted England the opportunity for Tom Bowen to make it 17-0 at the break.

England dominated possession in the early exchanges of the second half, but it was a lazy pass that handed the ball to Phil Burgess for an easy stroll in. The BlitzBoks eventually got on the board with just 90 seconds remaining on the clock – Zain Davids getting the consolation score in a bitterly disappointing performance by the defending champions. In contrast, England put on a tactical masterclass and was near flawless in their execution.

It was a scrappy start in the contest between New Zealand and Scotland, with both sides are just forcing it with some wayward passes. Two mistakes in quick succession then saw Ngarohi McGarvey Black and Amanaki Nicole score for the Kiwis in the last two minute of the opening half – 14-0 at the break.

Scotland just could not get into the game, coughing up possession all too easily, and New Zealand made them pay – Andrew Scott Knewstubb taking the Kiwis’ lead to 21-0 – a move that produced patient work and some sublime interpassing. The Scottish error count continued to mount at an alarming rate. Scotland eventually got their consolation score right on the full-time hooter – Harvey Elms going over.

Australia got off to the perfect start, with some fancy footwork from Maurice Longbottom setting it up for Jesse Parahi to score the try. Ben O’Donnell and Nicholas Malouf continued the good form, as Australia are turned on the charm in a dominant first half that saw the Aussies take a 21-0 lead into the half-time break.

It was more of the same after the break, as Ben O’Donnell and Henry Hutchison added further tries – Nicholas Malouf and Maurice Longbottom putting their full array of the sublime skills on display. John Porch completed the rout – 38-0. Despite the South Americans pressing late on, their opponents hold firm and deliver their second shutout of the competition – a tremendously impressive performance from Tim Walsh’s men.

The World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Perry Baker, got the Americans off to the perfect start against Fiji – showing the pace he is famous for. Fiji’s natural skills are world-renowned and they show them beautifully to hit back down the right. A late cut, a fend and a draw are all shown before Apenisa Cakaubalavu finishes their first try of the day. However, Baker showed he is not just all pace – breaking a couple of tackles to give the United States a 12-7 lead at the half-time break.

America stretched their lead after Fiji were reduced to six men for a shockingly dangerous high tackle by Sevuloni Mocenacagi on Baker. The Flying Yank, Baker, was instrumental in the build-up, which saw Martin Iosefo dive over from less than a metre out. Danny Barrett and Folau Niua combined down the right wing for the latter to score the Yanks’ fourth try. There was just enough time for Cakaubalavu to get a consolation try – 24-14 to America.

South Africa 5-22 England
New Zealand 21-7 Scotland
Australia 38-0 Argentina
Fiji 14-24 United States

Challenge Trophy

Samoa was in dominant for against a lacklustre Japan – Tomasi Alosio and Alamanda Motuga (twice) scoring early tries before Japan even had a look in. Naoki Motomura gave Japan some hope, but scores by Johnny Samuelu, Danny Tusitala and Kirisimasi Savaiinaea ended the game as a contest, before Harunori Tsuruyagot a late consolation score.

Kenya and Spain were in a real ding-dong battle – Alvin Otieno and Pol Pla exchanging early tries. The pattern continued – Leonard Mugasi and Javier Carrion; Pablo Fontes and Otieno – before Marcos Poggi sealed the win for Spain right on the full-time hooter.

It was one-way traffic in the encounter between Canada and the new-look Kenyan team – Justin Douglas and Matt Mullins giving the Canucks a handy lead at the break. Further tries by Connor Braid, Mullins and Adam Zaruba put the match beyond doubt, before Kudakwashe Chiwanza got a late consolation score for the African team.

Wales were quickest out the blocks in their encounter with France – Cai Devine getting the opening five-pointer. Luke Treharne was next to cross, before Thibault Mazzoleni put France on the board. Marvin O’Connor put the French on level terms just before the break. Jonathan Laugel put France ahead early in the second half, before Will Talbot-Davies levelled it up again. Mazzoleni regained the lead for France, with Stephen Parez and Nisie Huyard sealing the win for the French.

Samoa 40-12 Japan
Spain 26-19 Kenya
Canada 38-5- Zimbabwe
France 36-17 Wales

PV: 305

Dubai Sevens: Fiji And Blitzboks Knocked Out | Rugby365