Samoa reign supreme in Dubai
Samoa reign supreme in DubaiSHARE
Samoa scored a convincing 26-15 win over Pacific rivals New Zealand in the Final at the Dubai Leg of the IRB Sevens World Series on Saturday.
The Samoans started strongly, scoring two tries in the first four minutes, and although New Zealand came back in the second half they couldn't make up the gap.
Despite being beaten in the Final for the second successive tournament, the Kiwis moved past Fiji to claim first place in the World Series standings with 38 points. The Fijians, who had a disappointing tournament in Dubai, trail by six point in second place – with Kenya and Dubai winners Samoa also on 32 points.
They are followed by France (27) and South Africa (24)
Kenya put the seal on a great weekend for the Africans as they edged France 15-12 in the third-place play-off.
The other silverware on the final day were claimed by Wales (who beat Canada 21-14 in the Plate Final), Argentina (who edged South Africa 14-10 in the Bowl Final) and England (who beat Spain 26-5 in the Shield Final).
We look at all the Day Two drama in Dubai.
Samoa claimed the Dubai title with an early blitz that left New Zealand too much ground to make up.
Samoa started strongly, scoring two tries in the first four minutes, and although New Zealand came back in the second half they couldn't make up the gap.
Paul Perez sprinted away to score the opening try seconds into the Final. And Perez then sneaked over in the corner, despite the attentions of Ben Lam, with Patrick Faapale's conversion making it 12-0 after four minutes.
Ben Lam then hit back for the All Blacks, but Tomasi Cama missed the conversion and with ninety seconds left in the first half it was 12-5 to Samoa.
Lio Lolo then broke away on a superb run down the right hand touchline and scored, with Patrick Faapale converting from the touchline to make it 19-5 to Samoa.
But then, after the siren sounded, New Zealand captain D J Forbes inspired his team with an extraordinary run down the right touchline to score – as Samoa took a 19-10 lead into half-time.
Kurt Baker thought he had scored for New Zealand early in the second half, but the try was disallowed. However, after sustained pressure Kurt Baker eventually scored and New Zealand were back in the game at 15-19.
It was Baker's sixth try of the tournament and he finished equal top try-scorer with Collins Injera of Kenya and Dan Norton of England.
However, that rally was to be New Zealand's final flurry, as Tulolo kicked ahead and beat Tomasi Cama in a race to the ball. Patrick Faapale converted again and Samoa had a 26-15 lead with just two minutes left.
New Zealand kept trying, but they ran out of time and Samoa have won the Dubai title.
Samoa 26-15 New Zealand
Kenya finished third after beating France 15-12 in the third place-play off thanks to Collins Injera's sixth try of the tournament.
France 12-15 Kenya
Wales beat Canada 21-14 to win the Plate at the Dubai Sevens. James Davies scored twice in the victory on the same ground they won the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2009.
In their Plate semi final Rhys Jones scored 17 points through a hat trick of tries and a conversion, as the Red Dragons beat the champions from the Gold Coast, Fiji, 27-5.
In the other semi final Canada picked themselves up after their 19-7 Cup semi final loss to Kenya and inspired by two tries from Nathan Hirayama, they defeated Portugal 28-12.
Wales 21-14 Canada
Argentina impressed on day two, going unbeaten to lift the Bowl title and defeating England, Scotland and South Africa in the process.
Matias Moroni scored twice the final to give them a 14-0 lead, but were made to work hard by Paul Treu's side who had chances to win the match, eventually losing 14-10.
South Africa reached the Bowl final by beating USA 22-14 thanks to two tries from Cornal Hendricks before Argentina beat 2010 and 2011 Dubai champions England 24-14 to book their place.
South Africa 10-14 Argentina
England's Marcus Watson scored two tries to end England's disappointing Dubai campaign by beating Spain 26-5 in the Shield final.
Having lost to the same side in the Bowl final in Australia, this was some consolation for Ben Ryan's side who gain three Series points.
In the Shield semi final Spain defeated Russia in an entertaining affair 26-24, thanks to a late try to Jaike Carter.
The second semi final saw heavyweights England face Australia and spearheaded by a hat-trick by speedster Dan Norton the defending champions gave their fans something to cheer about with 40-12 victory.
Spain 5-26 England
The little dynamo Terry Bouhraoua got France on the board first, when he ducked over for a try out wide. France held on to that lead till half-time – as they controlled the pace of this first Cup semifinal.
Samoa needed to come up with something special and they thought it came in the form of Lio Lolo. However, he lost control of the ball in the ingoal area.
Samoa eventually got their score through Reupena Levasa and the conversion gave the Pacific Islanders a 7-5. lead with less than a minute left on the clock.
Terry Bouhraoua went from hero to villain as he attempted a desperate long pass after the siren had sounded. However, Robert Lilomaiava intercepted and sprinted away for Samoa to score the winning try.
In the second semifinal Kenya went close early, but a great tackle by Tim Mikkelson saved the try and moments later Mikkelson put Tomasi Cama away at the other end and New Zealand held 5-0 lead.
Then from the kick off Tim Mikkelson stole the ball and scored himself – 10-0. Then, on the half-time siren, Mikkelson scored his second try as the Kiwis raced into a 15-0 lead at the break.
Scott Curry then went over twice as the All Blacks dominated through their superiors skills and pace – racing away (27-0). A late Collins Injera consolation try left the final score at 27-7.
France 5-12 Samoa
Kenya 7-27 New Zealand
Wales got out of the blocks quickly and hat-trick of superb tries to Rhys Jones saw the Red Dragons lead the champions from the Gold Coast 17-0 at half-time.
Joji Baleviani Raqamate eventually got Fiji on the board when he sprinted away, but they still had a long way to go with Wales leading 17-5 and under four minutes to go. However, Rhys Jones turned provider with a superb long pass to put Alex Webber over and a final try to Wales through Will Thomas saw the Red Dragons pull off a stunning 27-5 victory over Fiji.
For Fiji it's a disappointing end to the tournament, losing both matches on Day Two after being undefeated on Day One.
Wales will meet Canada in the Plate Final, after the Cannucks accounted for giant killers Portugal by 28-12.
After the heroics of Day One, where they beat both England and South Africa in heart-stoppers, Portugal ran out of gas on Day Two – losing to New Zealand (in the Cup quarterfinals) and then Canada (in the Plate semifinals).
Nathan Hirayama continued his good form at the Tournament scoring the first try and converting it from the touchline, before a Portugal saw Ciaran Hearn toe the ball through and Canada score again – as Canada raced into a 14-0 lead after just four minutes.
Portugal hit back through a converted try to Frederico Oliveira then on the siren Duarte Moreira burst through for Portugal to make it 14-12 to Canada at the break.
Nathan Hirayama went over for Canada to give them some breathing space at the start of the second half and then Sean Duke forced his way over for a well worked Canada try to ensure the Cannucks ease into the Final.
Fiji 5-27 Wales
Canada 28-12 Portugal
Cornal Hendricks scored a brace to give South Africa a 10-0 half-time lead, before Colin Hawley forced his way over for the USA, his third try of the Tournament. The conversion made it a narrow 10-7 lead for the BlitzBokke.
The game then exploded into action – Tshotsho Mbovane chased through a Frankie Horne kick and fell on the ball to score (15-7), before Carlin Isles sprinted away to score under the posts and give the US renewed hope (15-14) with a minute left. However, Stephen Dippenaar cut through for South Africa and the BlitzBokke edged the US 22-14.
In the second Bowl semifinal Argentina started with a tries to Matias Moroni and Facundo Panceyra Garrido to lead Scotland 12-0 at half-time.
Scotland eventually got on the board when Darren Gillespie raced away for a well worked try, 12-5 to Argentina with two minutes left. Scotland continued to battle hard, but Argentina held on to win 12-5.
The Pumas will face South Africa in the Bowl Final.
United States 14-22 South Africa
Scotland 12-5 Argentina
England captain Dan Norton scored a hat trick – making him the tournament's leading try scorer with six touchdowns – as England demolished a hapless Australia 40-12.
It is some consolation for the England fans, but a dreadful result for Australia – the first time they have ever finished last in a Sevens World Series tournament.
England will meet Spain in the Shield Final, after Jaike Carter scored an injury-time try for the Spanish to give them a 26-24 win over Russia.
Australia 12-40 England
Spain 26-24 Russia
It was a long-range penalty by Paul Albaladejo that gave France their 8-5 win over Fiji, who seemed a shadow of the team that won in the opening round on the Gold Coast.
France hold the ball for virtually the entire first half against Fiji and they get their reward right on half-time, with a try to Jean Baptiste Gobolet.
Fiji finally get their chance and they hit back with a try to Peni Vaciloa and at 5-all it and more than three minutes remaining, seemed the Pacific islanders would kick on. However, Albaladejo slotted the winning penalty to knock Fiji out.
Portugal, who on Day One had beaten both South African and England, started like a house on fire against the All Blacks – Diogo Miranda getting the opening try and the conversion giving them a 7-0 lead.
However, that was to be their last score.
The Kiwis hit back with tries to Tomasi Cama and Kurt Baker and held a 14-7 half-time lead. Another try to Cama and a late score by Sherwin Stowers saw the Kiwis wrap up an easy win.
Kenya booked their semifinal place and a date with New Zealand after they accounted for Canada – Wily Ambaka scoring the decisive try. It was a great result for Mike Friday's men, who reached their second consecutive Cup semifinal.
Patrick Faapale scored the decisive try for Samoa as they clinched a hard fought 19-7 victory over Wales. Samoa will now face France in the Cup semifinals.
New Zealand 28-7 Portugal
Canada 7-19 Kenya
Samoa 19-7 Wales
Fiji 5-8 France
South Africa, who had failed to make the Cup competition for the first time in more than a decade, had too much in the tank for a willing Russian team and after a slow start – which saw the Russians take a 12-5 half-time lead – the BlitzBokke raced to a 25-12 win.
Argentina continued England's miserable run in the 2012/13 IRB World Series when they beat them 24-14 and relegated England to the lowly Shield competition – the lowest tier in Sevens.
Scotland accounted for Australia (29-14) and the United State edged Spain (14-12) in the other Bowl quarterfinals.
The US will now meet South Africa in the Bowl quarterfinal, while Scotland and Argentina go head-to-head in the other semifinal.
Argentina 24-14 England
Australia 14-29 Scotland
South Africa 25-12 Russia
Spain 12-14 United States