Vancouver 7s: BlitzBoks march on

Sun, 12 Mar 2017 00:07
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ROUND TWO WRAP: England, South Africa, Fiji, the United States, Australia,  New Zealand and Canada all started with two wins from two in Pool A at the Vancouver leg of the Sevens World Series.

The series leaders, the BlitzBoks, have reached their 36th consecutive Cup quarterfinal!

Also unbeaten and through are defending Vancouver champions New Zealand.

Scott Curry, New Zealand captain, on his side's win over Scotland: "The defence has been good, and we played four minutes of that game with only six men, so really good.

"We've been talking about it all week, looking forward to playing Canada here and they've been playing well. We just need to continue with our defence and go from there."

Wales came from behind to stun Argentina with a late show in a 21-14 win.

The United States and Australia also qualify for Cup quarterfinals with two wins from two in Pool C.

It was also two wins from two in front of their own fans for Canada and a spot in the Cup quarterfinals.

Adam Zaruba, after scoring a hat-trick in Canada's win over Russia, said: "It feels good. We knew Russia would give us a game.

"It was a close game but our composure set in in the second half and it was a good win for the boys. It's an incredible, most special feeling to have the support. The roar, to have our back, it's amazing."

It was not the ideal start for Scotland. Three first-half tries with a double from Ambrose Curtis and Scott Curry on the scoresheet for New Zealand.

But, with Vilimoni Koroi in the sin-bin, Scotland got themselves back in the match. They have the numerical advantage and move it through the hands quickly with Hugh Blake setting up Glenn Bryce with a Hollywood pass.

All the Round Two action!

Pool A
(South Africa, England, Kenya, Chile)

Former Plymouth Albion man Tom Bowen went round the outside and lands one for England, but Simon Amor was concerned to see Alex Davis leaving the field because of injury.

England's attacking was a little bit lateral, but all of Chile's great defensive work is undone as Ruaridh McConnochie sent his captain fantastic Tom Mitchell in the clear. That was Sevens Series try No.98 for Mitchell, so he could well hit the 100 mark this weekend.

James Rodwell and Dan Norton (try No.239) wrapped up the win for England in the closing stages.

Rosko Specman showed that he is one of the best in the business in last week's Cup Final in Las Vegas and the South African star has the pace to burn. Space opened up in midfield and Specman was looking to offload until he realised that, actually, he can go all the way! In the absence of Justin Geduld, Specman is stepping up to the plate. He is gold.

The dancing feet of Cecil Afrika got the BlitzBoks a few metres shy of the line and Ruhan Nel was in support to land their second.

Kenya have been patient in their build-up but South Africa are able to absorb pressure and win the turnover so well. The Shujaa Sevens refused to give up, though, and when Bush Mwale barged over with brute force.

Rosko Specman then sent it out to the right for the onrushing Chris Dry and there was no way back for the Shujaa Sevens from that.

Results:
England 26-0Chile
South Africa 15-5 Kenya

Pool B
(Fiji, Argentina, Samoa, Wales)

The Los Pumas Sevens, looking for back-to-back wins in Pool B, got off to a flyer through Bautista Delguy. Then, Wales were guilty of attacking into heavy traffic and Argentina were left with numbers to burn. Matias Osadczuk and his glowing yellow boots danced over the line for his 21st of the series - 14-0 at the break.

It was then double trouble for Nicolas Menendez. He was been shown a second yellow and was off the field permanently. Wales went underneath the sticks almost instantly, with a lovely finish from Ethan Davies.

It was a tale of two halves, as Wales went over again and drew level with a successful conversion. After the full-time hooter, Cory Allen shifted it to Ben Roach who won it! The men in red came back from the dead and stole the most unlikely of victories.

So Fiji canSamoa refused to be intimidated by Fiji. There was a nice moment midway through the half when, with Lafaele Vaa down injured, Vatemo Ravouvou showed great sportsmanship and stayed with the injured player to ensure he's okay.

It was stop-start, but Samoa nevertheless started very assuredly and their playmaker Tila Mealoi was right on the money to dive over and give his country the lead. Fiji's warrior captain is such a great reader of the game, though, and after Mealoi telegraphed a pass to an opposition player, Osea Kolinisau was in position to dot down his 115th Sevens Series try.

Fiji have such power and precision in their passing and they produced a sweet move that's finished off by Kalione Nasoko, who has three for the weekend now. Footwork, power and precision in delivery. That was very pretty to watch.  

Samoa have proved here that they are capable of producing rather lovely moves themselves. Joe Perez made the initial break and after a wonderful offload from Alex Samoa, Tila Mealoi put the men in blue right back in it. But the hallmark of a great side is their ability to respond to setbacks, and Fiji won it through Setareki Bituniyata. Perez was denied right at the death by replacement Waisea Nacuqu.

Results:
Argentina 14-21 Wales
Fiji 19-12 Samoa

Pool C
(United States, Australia, France, Japan)

It was a really strong start from Japan and after being denied brilliantly by James Stannard, Kosuke Hashino put them in front. At the other end, after Soejima was tackled into touch, Ed Jenkins shows quick hands and Tom Lucas can touch down an equalising try. Sweet conversion from Stannard and the teams were level at the break.

Superb breakout to start the Second half from Australia. This move was all about pace, and Australia have that in spades. Brandon Quinn went past a couple and feeds fellow youngster Henry Hutchinson, who always backs himself for the line. Japan have been much-improved here, but Liam McNamara and 19-year-old Lachie Anderson have extended their country's lead.

It was a sensational second-half hat-trick for Liam McNamara. He has such astounding upper-body strength and pumped his legs over the line despite being hounded every step of the way to complete his hat-trick.

After Madison Hughes had opened the scoring, Martin Iosefo extended the United States' advantage. Then Alexandre Lagarde said merci beaucoup when Folau Niua sent a blind pass right into his hands yards from the line for a free run-in. But Iosefo opens up France again following the half-time hooter. With the white-and-red jerseys attempting to nullify the threat of Baker, Iosefo can go under the uprights.

Perry Baker in full flight is a wonderful sight. His athleticism is sublime and he might have ended any hopes of a France fightback after Terry Bouhraoua had struck for Las Bleus after the break. Then, Folau Niua had the wherewithal and presence of mind not to get dragged into touch and to stop-and-pop for Andrew Durutalo, who was rewarded for his great running line.\

Results:
Australia 36-7 Japan
United States 31-19 France

Pool D
(New Zealand, Canada, Scotland, Russia)

There was some good movement off the ball from Russia and Eduard Filatov just had enough room to squeeze through a gap in the Canada defence and stun this home crowd. The response from the hosts was swift, though. Canada put some phases together and Adam Zaruba dropped his shoulder before driving for the line.

Canadian captain Harry Jones did lots of the hard work by riding the tackles and getting his hands free, and Isaac Kay had the determination to roar for the line.

Canada were just 7-5 up at the break, but they raced into a 26-5 lead here with a blistering second-half performance. Adam Zaruba went over to seal a superb hat-trick after being fed by the industrious Pat Kay.

And it was try time for Scotland again after the restart as Dougie Fife dotted down. They were then punished for a no-look pass from Hugh Blake, though, and Dylan Collier, who deserved a try for all the defensive work he had done, scores his country's fourth.

The All Blacks Sevens spent four minutes of this game with six players, but the defending champions in Vancouver ran in five tries to Scotland's two.

Results:
Canada 26-5 Russia
New Zealand 33-12 Scotland

Source: @WorldRugby7s

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