Las Vegas 7s: BlitzBoks versus Fiji in Final

Sun, 05 Mar 2017 22:31
Large sam boyd stadium usa 7s 800

SEMIFINAL WRAP: South African will meet Fiji in the Final of the Las Vegas leg of the Sevens World Series.

The BlitzBoks edged hosts the United States 20-17 in a thrilling semifinal in which the lead changed hands four times.

Coming back from 0-12 down in a blustering wind that reached 60 kilometres per hour, SA claimed the lead early in the second half, only to lose it again and reclaim it.

The Yanks had a late chance of stealing victory, but the BlitzBoks produced a monstrous counter-attack at a ruck and won the turnover that gifted them victory.

Fiji came back from being 0-14 down to beat New Zealand 19-14 in a brutal game that started with the penalty try to the Kiwis.

Australia whitewashed Argentina to advance to the fifth-place Final, where they will meet England.

"It was a great effort," Australian captain James Stannard said.

"It's really hard out there, but we're a bunch of young blokes, we pressed defence, and we got the result."

Kenya progressed to the Challenge Trophy Final, where the will meet a vastly improved Samoa.

Japan will play Wales in the Final match to determine 13th-place.

We look at all the semifinal action!

Cup semifinals

The hosts, the United States, had a dream start when the wind blew the kick-off back to them and Stephen Tomasin for the opening score.

Cecil Afrika was then caught off guard and Folau Niua thundered through to make it 12-0.

South Africa then showed why they're series leaders, by getting themselves right back in the game as quick as flash.

Dylan Sage went over and Ruhan Nel dotted down after a quick penalty tap to make it 10-12 at the break.

South Africa landed the first blow of the second period as star man Werner Kok finished in stunning style after going round Martin Iosefo and fending off the challenge of Perry Baker.

The USA hit back in ruthless fashion as Baker won the turnover and Andrew Durutalo roared the Eagles back in front.

It was a crazy, end-to-end, frenetic clash as the BlitzBoks stole the lead again. Dylan Sage restored the lead for his country, but the Americans had a chance to hit back after they stole a BlitzBok line-out. However, the South Africans loaded up at a ruck and won the turnover to claim the win.

The first major turning point in the game came as Kalione Nasoko was penalised for a high tackle on Iopu Iopu-Aso and the New Zealanders were awarded the seven points - a penalty try.

Fiji were uncharacteristically falling of tackles and Isaac Te Tamaki dotted down his third of the weekend after Samisoni Viriviri lost his footing just at the wrong moment.

A lovely Fiji move involving the irrepressible Jerry Tuwai and Mesulame Kunavula saw it over the line for the Pacific Islanders - 14-5 at the break.

It was insanely tight - tough, it's physical and jaw-droppingly.

Joeli Lutumailagi made his mark on the match with a try after replacing Fiji's captain and is hauled down on New Zealand's 22 when he looked to be in the clear again.

However, the absurdly powerful Masivesi Dakuwaqa went through without being stopped and for the first time in the game Fiji had lead - which they retained to the end - 19-14.

South Africa 20-17 United States
Fiji 19-14 New Zealand

Fifth-place play-off

Lachie Anderson has been an absolute try scoring machine in Las Vegas this weekend.

The whizzkid is top of the pops and has an absolutely huge engine. He was in the perfect spot to support Tom Lucas and put his country ahead in a first half in which Argentina have been starved of possession.

Alex Gibbon then sneaked through a gap in the Los Pumas defence and took it away for Australia to roll over his first try of the weekend.

In the semifinal between England and Canada Tommy Bowen set up captain Tom Mitchell, after cutting back infield and fending off the tackles, before Mitchell leap through the breeze to send England ahead.

The big man Richard de Carpentier put it down in the corner for Simon Amor's men, after shrugging off a challenge from Nathan Hirayama. England were cruising (12-0) at the break.

Victory for Simon Amor's team who were grateful for the experience of Dan Bibby and Tom Mitchell to see this one out, and England will face Australia in the fifth-place Final.

Australia 14-0 Argentina
Canada 5-12 England

Challenge Trophy semifinals

A swift passing move from Las Bleus saw the ball sent to the outside right and debutant Alexandre Lagarde landed his third try of the weekend.

The Kenyan fans continued singing, because Bush Mwale hit back for Kenya on the stroke of half-time.

With Alexandre Lagarde sent to the bin for nudging the ball away, Collins Injera took full advantage for Kenya. Las Bleus needed a score and a conversion to take it to extra-time, but try-scorer Injera did brilliantly to deny Jean Baptiste Mazoue right at the death.

Samoa got their power game moving. They used their movement, width and pace to work it to the brilliant Laaloi Leilua, who made a break for it off his left foot and stormed over his fifth try of the weekend. Beautiful restart by the Samoans and 10 seconds later Savelio Ropati was in to score also.

Gordon Tietjens's side rolled the dice and came up with sixes. What the Samoans also proved is that when you've got the gas of Laaloi Leilua in your team, a passing game isn't so important. Leilua went the distance again - 17-0 at the break.

Samoa won the turnover and Joe Perez pumped his thighs towards the line and sat down before dotting down - 24-0 at the end.

France 7-14 Kenya
Scotland 0-24 Samoa

Thirteenth-place play-off

It was a dream start for Japan, who took the lead after 15 seconds! Kosuke Hashino exposed Chile, who did not have a man in the pocket and Hashino pinned his ears back.

Then follow some wonderful stuff from Chile, as Marcelo Torrealba got his country over the line for his third try of the weekend. However, at the other end, it was try time for Japan again as Patrick Stehlin had the presence of mind to find the line despite two defenders hanging onto him.

Japan just had took much pace and power and booked their place in the 13th-place Final.

Wales scored first in the other semifinal, a lovely offload on the line from Tom Williams to Ethan Davies - after Russia overcommited on the right and Wales had the lead inside two minutes.

Ben Roach pushed brilliantly for the line with a beast of a run to land Wales's second, despite the best efforts of Eduard Filatov to stop him. At the other end, with the clock at zero at the end of the first half, Ilya Babaev reached for the line for Russia's first score of the day, following a neat passage of patient build-up play - 12-5 at the break.

Russia showed some promising moments in attack, but the Welsh were slightly sharper. Owen Jenkins jinked his way through the Russian defence as Wales went through the gears again before Ethan Davies went over for his second to send Wales cruising into the 13th-place Final.

Japan 24-7 Chile
Wales 24-5 Russia

Sources: @WorldRugby7s

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Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
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
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 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
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States 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