Blitzbokke through to Cup semis
Blitzbokke through to Cup semisSHARE
Samoa took another step toward retaining their USA Sevens crown on Saturday, defeating Scotland 12-5 to book a Cup semifinal showdown with South Africa.
South Africa delivered another impressive performance in the quarterfinals, defeating Wales 26-0. Their semifinal is scheduled for 21:54 on Sunday and will be televised live.
Earlier, the Springbok Sevens completed their pool fixtures with a hardworking 15-5 over a tenacious Kenya, scoring three tries to one in the process to qualify in unbeaten fashion for the Cup quarterfinals.
A brace of tries by Chris Dry and another one by Philip Snyman saw the Springbok Sevens safely past Kenya, who last weekend lost to New Zealand in the Wellington Cup final.
South Africa then produced a good, balanced performance to beat Wales 26-0 to proceed to the semifinals.
Cornal Hendricks led the way with two tries – his fifth overall of the tournament – while Cheslin Kolbe and Warren Whiteley also added a try each. Kolbe and Branco du Preez (2) slotted three conversions.
Afterwards, Springbok Sevens coach, Paul Treu, said Samoa will be very tough opponents.
“It will be important for us to keep our focus and our momentum because Samoa is playing so well, they are the defending champions and have good support here in Las Vegas.”
Pool winners New Zealand and Fiji advanced to the other semifinal in the fifth round of the IRB Sevens World Series.
New Zealand moved on with a 17-0 victory over Canada, while Fiji edged the United States 21-19.
The United States had booked their quarterfinal berth in dramatic style earlier on Saturday, beating Spain 22-7 in the final pool match.
After enduring a tough opening day on Friday, the hosts needed to win by 14 or more points and rallied from 7-0 down with the help of two tries from Carlin Isles.
Nick Edwards got the decisive conversion with the final kick of the match, leaving Spain as the only Sevens core country yet to reach the Cup quarterfinals this season.
Fiji coach Timoci Wainiqolo said his side knew the hosts would be fired up in the quarterfinals after their victory over Spain.
"It was a hard game, USA were playing well, they are coming up," he said.
As the three-day format saw the last round of pool matches played on Saturday, defending Samoa completed a perfect pool record, as did New Zealand and South Africa.
Scotland advanced to the quarters with a 14-0 win over England – the victors last weekend in Wellington who didn't manage a pool win here.
"It was a unique situation with all 16 teams still able to qualify [on Saturday], but we knew we could," Scotland coach Stephen Gemmell said of his side's mindset going into their final pool match.
"It was nice to do it against England, but it would have been the same against anybody."
New Zealand top the Sevens World Series standings on 77 points, ahead of Kenya on 56 and Samoa on 54. Fiji, France and South Africa all have 51 points.
(England, Scotland, Fiji, Portugal)
Fiji 21-14 Portugal
Scotland 14-0 England
(Kenya, South Africa, Canada, Uruguay)
South Africa 15-5 Kenya
(New Zealand, Argentina, France, Wales)
Wales 17-14 France
New Zealand 17-5 Argentina
(Samoa, Australia, Spain, USA)
Samoa 28-7 Australia
USA 22-7 Spain
Fiji 21-19 USA
New Zealand 17-0 Canada
Samoa 12-5 Scotland
South Africa 26-0 Wales
Spain 12-0 Portugal
Argentina 24-0 Uruguay
England 26-21 Australia
France 21-17 Kenya
Day Three schedule:
(Kick-off times are local – GMT plus ten hours)
Sunday, February 10:
Shield semifinal: Portugal v Uruguay, 9.20
Shield semifinal: Australia v Kenya, 9.42
Bowl semifinal: Spain v Argentina, 10.04
Bowl semifinal: England v France, 10.26
Plate semifinal: USA v Canada, 10.48
Plate semifinal: Scotland v Wales, 11.10
Cup semifinal: Fiji v New Zealand, 11.32
Cup semifinal: Samoa v South Africa, 11.54
(Finals start at 12.45)