Hong Kong 7: BlitzBoks ease past spiteful Canada
ROUND THREE WRAP: South Africa stayed in the hunt for a first Cup Final win in Hong Kong, after advancing to the quarterfinals.
The BlitzBoks will meet New Zealand in Sunday's Cup quarterfinals, after they eased past a spiteful Canadian team (26-7), with the North Americans overly obsessed with their physicality.
And when the South Africa's superiors skills exposed them in the second half, they resorted to niggle in an attempt to disrupted the free-running BliktzBoks.
"We are happy with the second half," South African coach Neil Powell said, after his team turned a 7-all half-time score into a second-half rout with three unanswered tries.
"We were a lot better today [Saturday]," he said, adding: "Every time we took to the field we got better.
"Now we have a tough quarterfinal."
The question about never having won in Hong Kong was brushed off with the same class his team showed on the field" "It is just one of those things, all we can do is focus on what will make us successful."
Australia topped Pool A after 12-10 win over England, who take second spot. Australia face Argentina in the quarterfinals and England are up against the United States.
Fiji, narrow winners over New Zealand to take first place in Pool C, will face Canada.
The United States beat Argentina 33-5 to top Pool D.
Mike Te'o was one of the standout performers for the United States as they dispatched Argentina with five tries one (33-5) to top Pool D. The Americans will meet England, tournament winners in Cape Town and Vancouver, in Sunday's Cup quarterfinals.
In the World Series qualifier quarterfinals, it's Chile versus Uruguay and Germany face Hong Kong.
We look at all the Round Three action!
(Australia, South Korea, England, Samoa)
Gordon Tietjens's fast-improving Samoans started at pace and Gordon Langkilde showed some great footwork to land his second try this weekend. Then Alex Samoa sent a pass outside to Samoa Toloa and the No.10 accelerated through the gap to extend the lead for the men in blue.
The South Koreans fired two blanks in their opening Pool matches against Australia and England, but they finally got off the mark. The big man Andre Coquillard picked up a pass over the top from Lee Jaebok and never even thought about passing.
Alamanda Motuga kills off any prospects of a South Korean fightback despite a last-gasp kick-and-chase try from Andre Coquillard, who finished with a brace. It was a well-deserved first win of the weekend for Samoa.
In the final pool match Australia were edging their way to the line in lung-busting fashion. Tom Mitchell was shown a yellow card for a high tackle and seconds later Henry Hutchinson glided over after some quick thinking from James Stannard.
Tommy Bowen hit right back for England - Bowen eating up the turf with Stannard on his tail and smashed it down to lock us up at five apiece at the halfway point.
After a set-piece scrum, there was a race between Hutchinson and Norton on the right and the Australian youngster skinned the record try-scorer. The conversion from Stannard gave the Aussies a seven-point lead.
Tom Bowen was leading from the front and had the wheels to bag his brace. Australia were up by two, with the clock in the red zone. They're awarded a penalty and Tom Lucas sent it into touch to bring this belter to a close.
Samoa 22-12 South Korea
England 10-12 Australia
England 12-10 Samoa
Australia 52-0 South Korea
Australia 22-19 Samoa
England 52-0 South Korea
(South Africa, Canada, Kenya, France)
Kenya and France, who will both play in the Challenge Trophy on Sunday, saw Kenya make it look easy - two mistimed tackles from the French resulted in two tries for Kenya inside five minutes.
France have had their moments in this match, but missed the experience and flair of their captain Terry Bouhraoua. Eden Agero scored for the Africans following the restart. Billy Odhiambo scored a cracker after running a great line to wrap up a deserved win for the Kenyans, their first of the weekend.
In the final pool match of the day youngster Dylan Sage landed the first blow for South Africa - inside a minute. Justin Douglas pulled one back for Canada and an exciting first half, we were locked up at 7-all.
However, the BlitzBoks overcome the overly brutal approach of the spiteful Canadians and used their greater skill to score three sublime second-half tries - even ignoring some Canadian bullying after the full-time hooter.
There was sublime skill from Cecil Afrika - who feinted a big pass but popped a pure one into the hole for Ruhan Nel, who landed his 11th try of the season. Afrika then got on the scoresheet in himself in a second-half masterclass from the BlitzBoks.
Kenya 29-12 France
South Africa 26-7 Canada
South Africa 35-10 Kenya
Canada 28-14 France
Canada 17-14 Kenya
South Africa 17-10 France
(Fiji, New Zealand, Wales, France)
With Japan seeking a first win of the weekend Kameli Soejimagoes went flying down the right side and went over despite the best efforts of Morgan Williams. Jared Rosser dragged Wales back into the game, but underdogs Japan regained the lead through Kosuke Hashino. Owen Jenkins went over for the Welsh following the half-time hooter.
Back-to-back tries for the Welsh turned the game around and then Luke Morgan proved what a special finisher he is by jumping off the left and right feet to take advantage of tiring Japanese legs.
In just the eighth match-up in Pool play between New Zealand and Fiji Waisea Nacuqu raced Fiji into a first-minute lead. At the other end Joe Ravouvou showed what an important presence he is already for New Zealand. He absolutely smoked Osea Kolinisau on the outside to even it up.
The try scoring went back and forth! Regan Ware shrugged off a monster hit from Vatemo Ravouvou and bounced off the Fijian to get it down for New Zealand. His old schoolmate Isaac Te Tamaki sent the conversion through the sticks, but Fiji came back again - Vatemo Ravouvou was away to put the Pacific Islanders up by three.
The Kiwis passed up the chance to win it at the death with a forward pass, and it will be a Pool-winning victory for Fiji.
Wales 34-21 Japan
Fiji 17-14 New Zealand
Fiji 17-17 Wales
New Zealand 40-14 Japan
New Zealand 19-7 Wales
Fiji 36-0 Japan
(Argentina, Russia, USA, Scotland)
It started with two minutes of non-stop action in which Russia have made 100 percent of the tackles they attempted. But finally Scotland claimed first blood with a well-taken try through Jamie Farndale. Vladimir Ostroushko nailed his conversion after Russia went almost the entire length of the field following a turnover at the breakdown and Vladislav Lazarenko scored.
Scotland had to a lot of defending in the second half and the Russians took advantage of tired Scottish legs to confirm the win in the closing seconds. It was a real backs-to-the-wall job for the Russians in the first period, but they finished the day with a win as Alexey Kapalin skipped over.
In the battle for top spot in Pool D Argentina stormed into the lead through Jose Barros Sosa after three minutes. But in the space of 25 seconds the United States went from five points behind to five ahead. Mike Te'o levelled it up at five-all, before Folau Niua threw a sensational dummy to glide the Americans into the lead.
Perry Baker fired up the burners and looked to his left - but there was nobody there. He had the tank to take it from one end of the field to the other unimpeded. Matai Leuta added a fourth for the Americans.
Scotland 5-14 Russia
United States 33-5 Argentina
United States 19-14 Scotland
Argentina 17-12 Russia
Argentina 22-14 Scotland
United States 14-7 Russia