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Fiji blitz Bokke in Dubai

Sat, 30 Nov 2013 08:44
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Fiji produced a powerful first-half showing to beat South Africa 29-17 in the Final at Dubai, Round Two of the IRB Sevens World Series.

In front of an energetic crowd the Pacific Islanders out-paced and out-scored their South African opponents.

Fiji scored three first-half tries and despite being reduced to six men after the break - when the BlitzBokke scored two unconverted tries - the Fijians regained their composure to race into a 29-10 lead.

A late consolation score showed why the South Africans finished runners up - they have the talent, but were just not good enough on the day.

All the Day Two action!

Cup Final:

Fiji ran in five tries as they beat South Africa in the Cup Final.

On a thrilling night Fiji beat first New Zealand 44-0 and then South Africa 29-17 in the Cup Final to win a first Dubai title since 1998.

Fuelled by the support of an appreciative crowd Osea Kolinisau, Pio Tuwai, Benito Masilevu and player of the tournament Samisoni Viriviri inspired the islanders to victory at round two of the IRB Sevens World Series.

The emphatic victory handed a third Dubai Cup title in four years to new coach, Ben Ryan, and his first piece of silverware for Fiji, who now sit just four points behind World Series leaders New Zealand with South Africa a further point back in third.

Result:
Fiji 29-17 South Africa

Third Place play-off:

Result:
New Zealand 17-14 England

Final Plate

Having lost their Cup quarterfinals, Argentina and Wales won their Plate semifinals to reach the Plate final which Los Pumas won 21-5.  

Result:
Argentina 21-5 Wales    
 

Bowl Final

Australia came from 5-0 behind to beat Portugal 17-12 in the Bowl final with Tom Lucas, Luke Morahan and Paul Asquith.

Having reached the Cup final on home soil in the first round, Australia collected an extra eight points to add to their season tally.  
Result:
Portugal 12-17 Australia    

Shield Final

France came from 12-0 behind to beat Spain 28-17 and pick up the first silverware on offer at the Dubai Sevens, and three valuable Series points.  

Result:
Spain 17-28 France    
 

Cup semifinals:

The Fijians literally got off to a flying start in the first of the semifinals. It was a New Zealand mistake, when they failed to control a ball at the breakdown, that gifted Donasio Ratubuli the opening try. The second five-pointer, by Benito Masilevu, came exactly in the same way - the Kiwis allowing the ball to roll clear unattended at the back of a ruck. From the restart Semi Kunatani collected the ball and sprinted over for the third try. Osea Kolinisau got the fourth when a kick through exposed the Kiwis' defensive frailties. The rout continued when Pio Tuwai collected a bouncing ball after the New Zealanders again failed to control the restart - making it 29-0 at the half-time break.

It didn't get any better after the break - a Kiwi pass going to a Fijian and after some sublime inter-passing Emosi Mulevoro scored the sixth. Waisea Nacuqu pounced on another stray Kiwi pass in the ingoal area as the rampant Fijians moved the winning margin into record proportions. Samu Saqiwa completed the rout, a record 44-0 victory.

In the second semifinal Mike Ellery opened the scoring for England, as he brushed of a few feeble tackles by the South Africans. England further benefitted from some poor tactics by the BlitzBokke - with shocking foot-passes and sloppy handling handing the ball back to the English time-and-again. SA eventually held onto the ball through enough phases for Cecil Afrika to find space in the English defence. Justin Geduld scored his country's second try, from a chip-'n-chase, as the BlitzBokke took a 14-5 lead into the half-time break.

The second half started much the same as the first, England exploiting SA's sloppy defence and Tom Mitchell going over for the try. Again the BlitzBokke struggled to hold their pass, costing them at least one certain try. SA's next try came after a quick tap by Afrika put Werner Kok over in the right corner. And the seal was put on the win when Cheslin Kolby won a turnover deep inside the English 22 and Chris Dry scored the try - 26-12.

Results:
New Zealand 0-44 Fiji
South Africa 0-0 England

Plate semifinals:

Wales advanced to the plate Final after a controversial extra-time score by Ashley Evans.

The Kenyans were furious after New Zealand referee Nick Briant had warned a Welsh player about being on the wrong side of the ruck, but then allowed Evans to pick up the ball and sprint over for the winning score despite two Kenyans being taken out of play by the man the referee had warned just seconds before.

The Evans score stood - to go with a first-half tries by Lee Williams and Alex Walker, along with a late Jason Harries score that took the game into extra time. Kenya, coming back from 0-7 down held a 19-14 lead with less than a minute to go, after tries by Collins Injera (in the first half), Oscar Ayodi and Andrew Amonde (in the second half).

In the other semifinal, a low-scoring match, Scotland's passing game just came up short against Argentina - the decisive score coming less than a minute from the final hooter, when Diego Palma showed a clean pair of heels to the opposition.

Results:
Argentina  12-5 Scotland
Kenya 19-24 Wales

Bowl semifinals:

Two David Mateus tries helped Portugal reach the Final with a 33-24 win over Canada.

They will face Australia in the final after Michael O'Connor's side beat the defending Cup champions Samoa with captain Ed Jenkins helping himself to a brace in the win.  

Results:
Samoa 14-19 Australia
Portugal 33-24  Canada
 

Shield semifinals:

Spain beat Russia 17-5 to reach the Shield final where they will meet France following Les Bleus' last-minute victory over the USA.

Results:
France 19-14 United States
Russia 5-17 Spain

Cup quarterfinals:

This all-African last eight clash starts at a thunderous pace. From the kick off, a loose ball sees Justin Geduld feed to Sampie Mastriet, who canters through for the opening try. Frankie Horne, in his 52nd consecutive event, then shows his class with a wonderful dummy to double the lead for the Blitz Bokke.

Kenya, who saw the ball just once in the first half and wasted the rare opportunity, were far more efficient after the break.

Felix Ayange went over for the first try after Frankie Horne failed o hold onto the ball in contact and then, from the restart, Kyle Brown spilled a ball which resulted in a try to Oscar Ayodi. At that stage, Kenya being just 12-14 down, an upset looked on the cards.

However, with less than a minute to go Branco du Preez literally stepped his way into the quarterfinal; with one of the best individual tries of the day - beating several defenders to make the final score 21-12 in favour of the BlitzBokke.

Despite some uncharacteristic play from the New Zealand's, the Kiwis edge clear with two quick tries - by Joe Webber and Bryce Heem and then held on to beat Argentina 26-19 in the first of the Cup quarterfinals.

Argentina, after Sherwin Stowers and Webber had given the Kiwis a 12-0 lead, managed to draw level - first Ramiro Moyano scoring just before the break and then Martin Chiappesoni three minutes into the second half.
 
However, Webber, with another dose of feet magic, and Heem made the game safe before consolation try from Axel Muller completed the match.

Fiji simply had too much class for Scotland, who looked a pale shadow of the outfit that looked so impressive on Day One. Semi Kunatani and Donasio Ratubuli tries gave them a 14-0 lead at half-time, before Samisoni Viriviri made it 21-0 less than two minutes into the second half.

Scotland finally produced a glimmer of their Day One spark when Gregor Young and John Houston closed the gap to 14-21, but Samisoni Viriviri scored in the corner to book his team's place in the semifinals.

The final quarterfinal was a bit of a brutal clash. A late challenge by England's Mike Ellery on Chris Knight - he was lucky not to be sin-binned - set up a penalty and Ashley Evans scored from it. Dan Bibby charged up field, and the ball was recycled for Marcus Watson to score - with England leading 7-5 at the break.

Marcus Watson    and James Davies exchanged tries inside the first two minutes after the break, before Phil Burgess, Marcus Watson and Mat Turner put daylight between the sides with three well-worked tries.

Reaction:

South African captain Frankie Horne: "It's always difficult against Kenya. They're a quality outfit and they've got some big guys."

Ben Ryan, Fiji coach: "We switched off a little at each kick off. New Zealand will be more than aware of that and will do the analysis on us. So we will have to be aware of that, but I'm delighted we're through."

England captain Tom Powell: "There were words last night after the Fiji game. The boys came out positive today and we were really strong. It's the noise from the ex-pats that gets us up and going and we can't wait for the semi-finals."

Results:
New Zealand 26-19 Argentina
Fiji 26-14 Scotland
South Africa 21-12 Kenya
Wales 12-33 England

Bow quarterfinals:

The Bowl semifinals will see Portugal taking on Canada and Samoa playing Australia.

Two John Moonlight tries helped Canada to a 22-12 win over Spain to book their place in the Bowl semifinals, while Portugal beat Russia 24-7 in the first match of day two. 

Samoa beat France 21-10 thanks to two tries from captain Reupena Levasa, and they set up a meeting with Australia who defeated the United States with Con Foley scoring a brace.

Michael O'Connor, Australia's coach: "We didn't start that well against Scotland yesterday [Friday].

"It was a very disappointing day in all - I couldn't believe the amount of individual errors we made. It was just one of those days."

Results:
Samoa 21-10 France
Canada 22-12 Spain
Portugal 24-7 Russia
Australia 47-7 United States

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