Las Vegas Sevens: No title chance for Blitzboks or Fiji
The Blitzboks will face Fiji in the final day of the Las Vegas Sevens, but it won’t be a semifinal meeting as you might expect. Instead, the two will square off in the fifth-place final while New Zealand, USA, Samoa and Argentina battle it out for a place in the finals.
It was that kind of weekend in the Las Vegas. Chile stunned the Blitzboks on the opening day, but South Africa bounced back. They beat their old bogey team, England, in their final pool game, setting up a showdown with the USA.
But the USA themselves had a disappointing opening day. As runners-up in all four stops on the World Rugby Sevens Series so far this season, the USA were on the hot-seat after falling to Argentina on Friday, but seized second in the group behind the South Americans with a 19-10 victory over France.
Back-to-back series winners South Africa, held to a humbling 5-5 draw by minnows Chile on Friday, bounced back to top their pool with a 29-12 victory over England.
New Zealand completed an unbeaten run through pool play with a dominant 19-7 victory over Spain and advanced to a mouthwatering quarter-final against Fiji, who fell 26-15 to Australia in a battle for group supremacy.
But the Blitzboks’ inexperienced recruits stumbled against a fired-up home side, losing 10-29.
Fiji, meanwhile, lost to New Zealand (19-14) in the cup quarterfinals, having lost their final group game to Australia earlier in the day.
Samoa beat Australia (20-21) and the ever-impressive Argentina beat England (26-21).
Samoa are heading to their first Cup semi-final since 2016 and after captain David Afamasaga praised their belief and performance:
“We had the self-belief that we could do it and it just showed out there in that last game. Credit to Australia, they gave us a real good battle and that’s what rugby is all about, fighting to the end. We definitely are looking forward to tomorrow. We’re going to give it our all like we did today.”
Day two results
Final pool games
Wales 14-19 Scotland
Fiji 15-26 Australia
Canada 19-26 Samoa
New Zealand 19-7 Spain
Argentina 19-24 Kenya
USA 19-10 France
Japan 19-7 Chile
England 12-29 Blitzboks
Challenge trophy quarterfinals
Spain 19-7 Wales
Japan 15-28 Kenya
Scotland 21-19 Canada
France 12-17 Chile
New Zealand 19-14 Fiji
Blitzboks 10-29 USA
Australia 20-21 Samoa
Argentina 26-21 England
Las Vegas semi-finals fixtures and full highlights
New Zealand v USA
Samoa v Argentina