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Singapore SVNS, men - Day Two

WRAP: We bring you Day Two of the men’s action at the Singapore leg of the HSBC SVNS World Series on Saturday.

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Series leaders Argentina lost to Australia but beat New Zealand convincingly on the opening day of HSBC SVNS Singapore to take a step closer to clinching the League Winners title.

Los Pumas Sevens, who finished ninth last time out in Hong Kong, will be sure of the trophy if they reach at least the Cup semi-finals at Singapore National Stadium, and their 33-5 win over the All Blacks Sevens showed them back at their best.

Australia won twice on day one in Singapore, winning 26-19 against series leaders Argentina and came back to defeat strugglers Canada 21-14 to secure a spot in the quarter-finals.

South Africa topped Pool B on the opening day after wins over Spain (31-7) and Samoa (15-10).

All the Day Two action follow below …

Quarterfinals

France 7 – 35 Great Britain

France started about as well as they could’ve, but their celebrations were short-lived. Great Britain showed excellent grit to dust their shoulders and retaliate with three tries of their own, all of which were converted, cementing a solid lead for them as they went into the break. Great Britain commanded the game with zeal and authority, showing any doubters that they’re able to perform at the highest level and topple giants. The second half showcased more of the British flair as they secured an additional two tries, courtesy of McFarland and Homer. Great Britain simply outplayed the French on this occasion and took a convincing win.

Argentina 5 – 21 Ireland

A good game was expected; a good game as delivered. Argentina and Ireland interlocked horns and showcased some adventurous rugby, pulling each other this way and that as they fought for domination. Argentina enjoyed their usual swift runs with pop passes that would crack any defensive formation. They did so on only one occasion in the first half. Ireland’s response was of the highest order, sending a grubber through the center of the pitch to Conroy who turned on the burners to reach it and put it down to secure a converted try. The second half saw a similar break for the Irish as they stole the wing and made a dash for the Argentine try line, coming out ahead again. A yellow card by Argentina didn’t help their case. In fact, it allowed Dardis to make it over the line secure the victory.

USA 14 – 19 New Zealand

USA had a dream start to the game, securing from the New Zealand kickoff and running it all the way to the opposition sticks after a shift out wide courtesy of Williams. A fantastic solo display. New Zealand, not ones to take a punch lying down, remained calm and try to shift the game towards their game plan. A speedy encounter, with both teams looking to break through on every second pass it seemed. USA went into the break leading by two points. That lead was short-lived after New Zealand struck hard and fast, scoring in the first minute of the second half. Adam Channel made it over for the USA with a dashing run but again New Zealand showed their grit to come from behind and this time they stayed ahead, seeing the game out to its close. Solid performance from both sides where either team could’ve taken it.

South Africa 24 – 29 Australia

Sixth and seventh place on the log facing it off in the Quarter Finals. Australia got the start they wanted after a play that started on the half way line saw the Aussies toss it around and create the overlap for Lawson to slip through a gap the size of a keyhole and put it down for the first points of the game. Moments later Roache added another to their tally, but South Africa did not let it go answered, breaking through the wing in similar fashion to Lawson to get themselves on the scoreboard. A minute later Australia broke through again but Specman was there on the cover to stop the try inches from the try line. A thrilling first half. Australia went for the jugular in the second half, putting it down for a forth time and putting the Blitzboks under immense scoreboard pressure. South Africa didn’t falter and pulled two back to make it a seven point game with a minute to play. They stole through the middle to get Nortje the try that leveled the score. Extra time ensued with even more back and forth;  the players leaving everything out on the field. A yellow card offense by the Boks gave Australia the advantage they needed and they went over to take the game. Excellent showing by both sides.

Ninth-place play-offs

Fiji 31 – 7 Canada

A perfect start for Fiji who opened up with a score in the first few seconds of the game. The South Pacific Islanders kept control of the game for much of the first half, quashing any possible signs of insurrection from the Canadians. Fiji stretched them from wing to wing, enjoying their expansive game with the occasional pop pass to keep the opposition guessing. They tallied another try before the hooter while Canada didn’t look convincing enough to make it over. Fiji started the second half exactly the same way they started the first: with a try in the opening seconds. After more than 10 minutes of failed attacks, Canada managed to weave a way through just before the hooter, tossing the ball along like a hot potato to reach the try line and have something to write home about. Fiji replied with a try of their own shortly after.

Spain 19 – 12 Samoa

This Ninth-Place Final had a slow start. Samoa showed more of the attacking edge, but a series of handling errors cost them dearly. One of which allowed Pol Pla to rush down the middle of the pitch and secure try that was practically handed to him by the opposition. Spain’s second try involved a bit more team work, but Samoa had a part to play with their handling. Spain went into the break leading by 14 points. The second seven showed much of the same, with Spain crossing the line another time, but Samoa had something to say this time around. They worked together to create space and pierce the Spanish defence down the middle. They struck once more while the iron was hot and put it down for another try, bringing it to a nervous finish for Spain, but the game as seen to closure by the Europeans.

Pool A

Argentina 38 – 0 Canada

Argentina took the Canadians by storm, scoring in the opening minute before applying constant pressure to keep the Canadians stuck in their own half. The boys in red showed great fighting spirit to push the Argentine players back but had little success offering a real scoring threat. Argentina added two more tries to their tally just before the hooter, winding the Canadians and setting the leaders up for a more comfortable second half. The intermission saw the Argentinians break the Canadians’ back with a further three tries, offering them nothing but dust and tears for their efforts. A fair attempt by Canada overall, but not nearly enough to contest the SVNS leaders.

New Zealand 26 – 10 Australia

Australia were on the backfoot in this fixture from the first minute after New Zealand set the tone for the game with an early try. The New Zealand team ran circles around the Aussie Sevens, making them work for any crumb of possession while locking them up inside their half. The Kiwis secured three tries in the first half, setting themselves up nicely for the second seven. Australia didn’t take it lying down, however, coming out swinging in the second half. They crossed the line twice to bring their tally to 10 points with two missed conversions. They looked to be coming back but New Zealand remained composed and passed the Australian guard once more before the final whistle.

Pool B

Spain 40 – 5 Samoa

A match that was relatively well split down the middle in the first five minutes with the teams going tit-for-tat on the scoresheet. Spain bagged the first try with Samoa’s Patelesio getting the second of the fixture. Spain furthered their lead with another try putting Samoa under scoreboard pressure and leading to a yellow card infringement, putting the boys in blue at a further disadvantage. Spain capitalized on the man advantage by crossing the line twice more more before the break, causing Samoa to crack under the mountain they needed to climb. Spain came out of the second half adding another two tries to their tally thanks to the skill of Sainz-Trapaga who found himself at the right places, at the right times to secure his brace. What started off as a contest turned into a romp with Spain winning comfortably.

France 19 – 20 South Africa

France were the favourites coming into this fixture but South Africa gave them a glimpse of some of the Blitzbok magic they had in copious amounts in Cape Town. The South Africans secured three tries in the first half, one coming from a smartly-timed cross kick to Leyds who dashed over along the wing. None of the tries were converted. The second seven brought with it a refurbished France side that brought the game to South Africa with quick passes and riveting runs. Over the course of the half the French secured three tries just before the hooter, with the restart kick spilling over into extra time. South Africa breathed their second breath and came back to score a try worked all the way from their goal line, Specman leading the charge to allow Sage over for the winning try. An exciting fixture showing what both sides can do given the right conditions.

Pool C

United States 19 – 21 Great Britain

USA perhaps surprising themselves with the swift start after Tomasin opened the scoring for the Americans by finding himself in space along the flank with no one to slow his run. Fuala’au followed up with a second try after some tussling between the sides in the midfield, but Great Britain did not take it all lying down, clapping back moments later with a smart break through down the middle of the pitch with an inside pass to unlock the USA defence. Spurred on by their first try, the British strung together a neat series of passes that gifted McFarland the space he needed to put it down comfortably and put Great Britain ahead.They wrapped up the half by going over once more. Both teams fought hard for domination in the second half, with the USA pulling one back but their missed conversion coming back to haunt them.

Ireland 19 – 26 Fiji

An exciting matchup in Pool C as Fiji put on quite the performance, taking the lead early on with a converted try, Tamani putting it down and kicking it over. The sides held each other between their respective 22s before Ireland found the space they needed to push through the Fijian defence in the center of the pitch and level the score. Moments later a patient build up from Fiji paid off after they changed the pace and unleashed Nasova who scooted down the flank in field to get over the line. In the dying minutes, Ireland crossed the line taking the teams into the break all square. Ireland started the half by pulling ahead but Fiji kept the flair they showcased in the first seven and bagged two tries to take the game in style.

 

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