BlitzBoks against Aussies in Final

Sun, 28 Jan 2018 07:23
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SEMIFINAL WRAP: South Africa and Australia will meet in the Final at the Sydney leg of the Sevens World Series.

South Africa gave the United States a lesson in clinical finishing, winning 35-7 after the Yanks had briefly drawn level in the first half.

Looking at the BlitzBoks' possession stats is basically irrelevant, because they scored almost as soon as they received the ball.

In the other semifinal, Australia whitewashed an error-prone and undisciplined Argentina 28-0 - two yellow cards at the heart of the tournament hosts' rout of the South Americans.

Fiji and New Zealand will face off in the fifth-place final - Fiji beating Kenya 24-5 and the Kiwis edging England 10-5.

Wales will face France in the Challenge Cup Final, after Wales beat Samoa 17-12 and France whitewashed Russia 22-0.

Canada (who beat Papua New Guinea 31-14) will meet Scotland (21-14 winners against Spain) in the 13th-place final.

We look at all the semifinal action!

Cup semifinals

In the first semifinal, between South Africa and the United States, a turnover allowed the perfect counter and Seabelo Senatla opened the scoring for the BlitzBoks.

A yellow card to Justin Geduld put the pressure straight back on SA. It was raining penalties against the BlitzBoks, but eventually, Philip Snyman secured a turnover inside his 22. However, another penalty against SA, and a quick tap, allowed Perry Baker to jog over to level it up.

Folau Niua was then yellow-carded for a high tackle, allowing the BlitzBoks to reclaim the lead through a Timothy Agaba  try, from a set move - 14-7 at the break

From the second-half restart, the Yanks were penalised and a quick tap saw Werner Kok power over. Folau Niua eventually returned, costing his team 14 points, but a smashing hit in midfield by Albertus Smith secured the BlitzBoks a turnover and Justin Geduld scored the try.

Seabelo Senatla sealed the BlitzBoks' advance to the Final, as they put on display their passing game to blow the Yanks away - 35-7.

In the early exchanges between Australia and Argentina Santiago Mare was yellow-carded for a cynical foul - the tap-and-go allowing Lewis Holland to power over for the first try of the match.

Terence Benjamin O'Donnell stretched that lead, as the Australians produced a clinical display in the face of some fierce hits by the South Americans - 14-0 at the break.

Franco Sabato was yellow-carded early in the second half, allowing Holland to get his second and Australia's third try.

Argentina continued to be their own worst enemies, as they coughed up possession deep inside their own half - with Terence Benjamin O'Donnell sealing the win with his team's fourth try - 28-0.

United States 7-35 South Africa
Australia 28-0 Argentina

Fifth-place semifinals

Jerry Tuwai broke the deadlock in a sloppy start to Fiji's encounter with Kenya - an opening three-minute spell that was a comedy of errors. Fiji turned on the charm, but they were sometimes too flash and also coughed up valuable possession.

Eroni Sau eventually held onto the ball long enough to score Fiji's second try, the Pacific Islanders taking a 14-0 lead into the break.

It did not get much better after the break, as both teams appeared to have lost any semblance of structure. Midway through the half, after more turnovers and a penalty, Alosio Sovita Naduva scored Fiji's third try. Josua Vakurunabili completed the rout with a fourth try, after yet another turnover.

There was enough time for a late consolation score by Jeffery Oluoch.

Scott Curry thought he was in the opening minute, but New Zealand was denied an early lead against England by the TMO - who failed to find a 'clear grounding'. Teddy Stanaway's attempt at breaking the deadlock also required the intervention of the TMO - who ruled that there was a knock-on.

England had their chances on the other side of the field, Oliver Lindsay-Hague tackled into touch near the Kiwi 22, before Ethan Waddleton eventually found the smallest of gaps near the left touchline to score the first try - the English taking a 5-0 lead into the break.

New Zealand made a perfect start to the second half, working their way up the field systematically - before Luke Masirewa
scored the try in the left corner. Joseva Ravouvou then beat Dan Norton on the outside for New Zealand's second try.

England tried desperately to get that crucial score, but the Kiwi defence held firm for a 10-5 win.

Fiji 24-5 Kenya
New Zealand 10-5 England

Challenge Trophy semifinals:

In a ding-dong battle in the opening semifinal, Neria Fomai got Samoa on the board, before Luke Morgan got Wales into the lead.
Elisapeta Alofipo put the Samoans back in the lead - as they took a 12-7 lead into the break.

Ben Roach got Wales back on level terms early in the second half, before a handling error inside the Samoan 22 gifted Wales a crucial scoring chance - Roach getting the try. That gifted them a 17-12 win.

Steeve Barry got France on the board in the opening minute of their encounter with Russia, who was sloppy and kept turning the ball over. It allowed France to take a 5-0 lead into the break.

After the break, the French also got the jitters, but it was a Russian turnover that allowed Jean Pascal Barraque to stretch the French lead. The next try came from a turnover inside the French 22, Steeve Barry finishing the break-out for his second score. Tavite Turaganibuli Veredamu was next to cross the line as the Russian mistakes entered the ridiculous category - a 22-0 win for France.

Samoa 12-17 Wales
Russia 0-22 France

Thirteenth-Place semifinals

Tries by Harry Jones and Justin Douglas gave Canada a 12-7 lead over Papua New Guinea in the first of the semifinals -
Gairo Kapana responding for the Pacific Islanders.

It remained a closely fought encounter, as Canada struggled to cope with only one man on the bench. William Tirang briefly put PNG ahead, but tries by Nathan Hirayama, Isaac Jonathan Kaay and John Moonlight sealed a 31-14 win.

Spain and Scotland enjoyed an intriguing first half and they couldn't be separated. Alejandro Alonso and Sean Kennedy scored the tries.

Max McFarland (for Scotland) and Pablo Fontes (Spain) exchanged tries, before Glenn Bryce produced the match-winner two minutes from time.

Canada 31-14 Papua New Guinea
Scotland 21-14 Spain


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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