Las Vegas 7s: Nervy starts and blow-outs

Sat, 04 Mar 2017 02:36
Large ruhan nel and werner kok blitzboks 800

ROUND ONE WRAP: There were a few nervy starts and some blowouts in the opening round as the favourites stuck their hands up in Las Vegas.

The Blitzboks were forced to come from behind against Canada, to eventually claim a 26-7 victory. While in the other Pool A encounter, France showed why they will be a real threat this round after pushing Wales aside 33-7.

Hosts, USA got their campaign off to a solid start when they overcame Samoa 26-5 before England were forced to come from behind against newcomers Chile, to eventually bag a 31-5 victory.

Argentina completely dominated Russia to ensure a 43-0 rout in Pool C, while New Zealand came from behind to beat Kenya 24-7 after trailing 5-7 at the break.

In Pool D, Fiji signalled their intent by claiming an all-too-easy 41-0 victory over Japan while Australia scored two late tires to seal a 28-21 victory over Scotland.

We look at all the Round One matches!

Fiji 41-0 Japan

It was one-way traffic as the offloading skills of the Fijians was on full display and it did not take them long to open the scoring with a try, before closing the half with two converted scores to take a commanding 19-0 lead at the break.

Fiji picked up where they left to score three unconverted tries inside the first five minutes of the second half to take the score to 34-0. Japan had no answer to the Pacific Islanders' skills as their defence failed to deal with the power thrown at them. The Fijians wrapped things up with a converted try in the final play of the match to claim the massive victory.

Australia 28-21 Scotland

Scotland got the ball rolling with the opening score of the match to take a 7-0 lead but Australia showed plenty of composure to hit back with a seven pointer of their own to level matters. Scotland managed to restore their seven point lead with the final play of the half, to take a 14-7 lead into the break.

The Scots extended their lead to 21-7 inside the first two minutes of the second half as they punished some poor Wallabies defending but Australia hit back with the next play to reduce the deficit to 14-21 with three minutes remaining. They then closed the match with two late tries to steal the win.

Argentina 43-0 Russia

Argentina took a 7-0 lead with 30 seconds on the clock before making it 12-0 after three minutes. There was no stopping the South Americans as they scored two converted tries in the final minutes to bag a 26-0 lead at the half-time interval.

There was no let up from the South Americans as they extended their lead to 31-0 with an unconverted score. Russia could get hold of the ball as Argentina stretched their lead to 36-0 with three minutes remaining in the match. There was time for one more converted try as Argentina completed the rout.

New Zealand 24-7 Kenya

It took New Zealand three minutes to breach the Kenyan defence to take a 5-0 lead but the African side hit back in the final play of the half to claim a 7-5 lead at the break.

New Zealand soaked up some early pressure in the second half but then got into their stride as they put some distance between themselves and Kenya. New Zealand ran in three unanswered tries - one of which converted - to get their campaign off to a solid start.

United States 26-5 Samoa

The tournament hosts opened the scoring in the third minute to take a 7-0 lead before adding to it with an unconverted try and a 12-0 lead, which they held at the half-time interval.

The United States began the second half with a converted try to stretch the gap to 19-0, only for Samoa to hit back with a try of their own to trail 5-19. The USA had the final say though as they scored in the final play to ensure a strong start.

England 31-5 Chile

Chile shocked England by grabbing the opening try of the match in the first minute to take a 5-0 lead, but England hit back with two converted tries to take a 14-5 lead into the half-time interval.

There was no stopping England in the second half though as they increased the tempo to score three unanswered tries - one converted - to claim the nervy victory.

Wales 7-33 France

France came out firing to grab the first seven-pointer of the match but Wales hit back with a converted try of their own to level matters at 7-7 after four minutes. France pounced on a Welsh mistake to regain the lead 14-7 at the half-time break.

Wales dominated possession in the second half but another handling error led to a breakaway try for the French and a 21-7 lead with three minutes remaining in the match. France put the final nails in the coffin in the final minute, with two late tries - one converted, to ease to an opening victory.

South Africa 26-7 Canada

The Canadians stunned the Series leaders by taking a 7-0 lead in the second minute when John Moonlight used his size to bash his way over the line, with Nathan Hirayama adding the conversion. However, the Blitzboks came back straight away as Ruhan Nel burst through a tackle to dot down.

Justin Geduld failed to add the extras as South Africa trailed 5-7 after four minutes but that was to be the final scoring of the first half.

The Blitzboks came out with renewed vigour in the second half and found reward in the ninth minute when a neat Geduld chip kick was claimed by Rosco Speckman, who dotted down under the posts. Geduld's conversion ensured a 12-7 lead.

Speckman showed his speed two minutes later when he broke through to race away for his second of the match. Geduld added the extras to stretch the lead to 19-7. There was enough time for one more as some patience led to a massive overlap.

The ball was shifted to Branco du Preez who had as easy canter over the line. He slotted the tricky conversion to get the Series leaders off to a winning start.


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Fri, 24 March 2017
Rebels v Waratahs 08h45 Melbourne
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Cheetahs v Blues 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
Pool 00
Team P W D L Pts
Chile 0 0 0 1 10
Papua New Guinea 0 1 0 0 1
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Japan Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens