London 7s: Scotland to defend title against England
SEMIFINAL WRAP: Scotland will defend their 2016 London Sevens title against England/Canada after being pushed all the way against the United States in their semifinal.
There was little to separate the sides in the semifinal but Scotland managed to dig deep to take the win 21-14 with the final play of the match.
England's passage into the Final was just as tough as Canada pushed them all the way. However, England made less mistakes in the match which proved to be the difference between the sides to ensure a 24-5 victory.
The Blitzboks will take on Australia for fifth place after they saw off Argentina 24-7, while Australia completely blew New Zealand away 40-7, in the other playoff encounter.
In the Challenge trophy, Fiji finally found their groove as they dismantled Kenya 45-5 and will go up against Wales in the Trophy Final after they defeated France 26-17 in the other semifinal.
Samoa and Russia will lock horns for 13th place after they easily saw off Japan and Spain, respectively.
All the semifinal action!
England 24-5 Canada
England made the perfect start when Oliver Lindsay-Hague stepped his way through a massive hole in the Canadian defence. Will Edwards added the extras to ensure a 7-0 lead after two minutes. But Canada hit back straight away through Adam Zaruba, who rounded off a flowing team move. Nathan Hirayama failed with the conversion as they trailed 5-7 with three minutes remaining in the half.
The danger of Dan Norton came to the fore as he drew a number of Canadian players before offloading to Lindsay-Hague, who stepped his way past the final defender to dot down under the uprights. Edwards secured the conversion to ensure a 14-5 lead.
England maintained their composure in the second half and took the ball through anumber of phases which opened up the outside for Norton to exploit. He stepped inside and managed to extend his side's lead. Hughes' conversion missed the mark but the lead was now 19-5 with two minutes remaining.
Lindsay-Hague completed his hat-trick just before full-time as they once again drew the Canadian's infield to create the space on the outside. Once again, the conversion went wide but it mattered little as the result was put to bed.
USA 14-21 Scotland
The United States did most of the attacking in the opening seven minutes but came against a determined Scottish side who were up for it defensively and made numerous crucial tackles in key areas of the field.
All that defending ensured a breakaway try for Dougie Fife with 30 seconds remaining in the half but the USA levelled matters after the hooter when Perry Baker showed his speed to dot down under the uprights and ensure a 7-7 scoreline at the break.
The United States though they had the lead early in the second half but the try was not awarded as Folau Niua had lost the ball in the process of dotting it down. Scotland went on the attack from that point and maintained continuity as Glenn Bryce went over with two minutes remaining in the contest. Scott Wight's second successful conversion ensured a 14-7 lead.
The United States hit back immediately for the second time in the match as Martin Iosefo put Baker into a gap and he raced away. Madison Hughes' second conversion levelled matters at 14-14 with one minute remaining.
Scotland broke the USA's hearts after the final hooter when Joseva Nayacavou showed plenty of determination to round off a strong attack. The conversion was a mere formality as they progress to the Final.
South Africa 24-7 Argentina
Dylan Sage got the scoring in the opening minute, with Cecil Afrika converting before Dewald Human grabbed his first World Series try when he dotted down in the corner. Afrika failed to add the extras but the Blitzboks had a 12-0 lead by the third minute.
The Blitzboks maintained their stranglehold on the half when Siviwe Soyizwapi dotted down just before the half-time interval with a breakaway try. Afrika's conversion ensured a 19-0 lead at the break.
South Africa were reduced to six men early in the second half as Rosco Specman was sent to the bin for a neck roll. Argentina could not take advantage of the extra man though and Soyizwapi punished them with a snipe through the heart of the Argentinian defence. Human's conversion came back off the upright but the Blitzboks led 24-0.
Argentina had something to smile about though when Joaquin Riera dived over in the final play. The conversion was good as they bagged a consolation score.
Australia 40-7 New Zealand
Australia took an early 7-0 lead before New Zealand levelled matters in the fifth minute. However, Australia went into the break with the momentum as they ran in a second converted try to lead 14-7 at half-time.
It was one-way traffic in the second half as Australia kept New Zealand scoreless while running in a further four tries in the process to blow New Zealand away.
Kenya 5-45 Fiji
There was no stopping Fiji as they finally kicked into gear, running in four unanswered first half tries to race to a 26-0 half-time lead.
Their dominance continued in the second half as they stretched their lead to 45-0 by the 14th minute, thanks to a further three unanswered tries. Kenya gave their fans something to shout about when they dotted down in the final play to end the match.
Wales 26-17 France
Wales opened the scoring in the second minute before extending that lead to 12-0 in the fifth minute. France hit back with two quick tries just before the break to trail 10-12.
France were reduced to six men following a yellow card and Wales took full advantage as they stretched their lead to 19-10. But France his back to narrow the gap to just two points before Wales closed out the match with a final blow to claim the encounter.
Spain 5-38 Russia
Russia raced to a 12-0 lead in the fourth minute when they grabbed two tries, once converted. But Spain hit back in the sixth minute with unconverted try before being reduced to six men after a yellow card. Russia took full advantage to extend their lead to 19-5 at the half-time break.
It was all Russia in the second half as they ran in a further two tries, two converted, to claim the victory.
Samoa 33-7 Japan
Samoa took an early 7-0 lead before being reduced to six men following a red card in the fourth minute. That seemed to galvanise them though as they ran in a further two converted tries to hold a 21-0 lead at the half-time break.
Samoa added to their tally in the eighth minute to take a 28-0 lead before Japan had something to smile about as they dotted down a converted effort of their own. There was time for one final Samoan try as they closed out the match.
Russia v Samoa - 16.07
Fiji v Wales - 16.32
Australia v South Africa - 17.07
USA v Canada - 17.32
Scotland v England - 17.57