Sat 14 Apr 2018 | 01:13

CW GAMES SEVENS: BlitzBoks to face Fiji in semis

CW GAMES SEVENS: BlitzBoks to face Fiji in semis
Sat 14 Apr 2018 | 01:13

CW GAMES SEVENS: BlitzBoks to face Fiji in semis


Defending champions South Africa, New Zealand, Fiji and England came through the pool stages unbeaten on a day packed full of drama and excitement at Robina Stadium to book their places in the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Men's Sevens semifinals.

The semifinal line-up on Sunday pits four of the five nations to have claimed Commonwealth Games medals across the five previous editions, with England facing four-time champions New Zealand in the first before the mouth-watering prospect of a South Africa versus Fiji encounter.

With only the pool winners to progress to the knockout stages and remain in contention for a medal there was no room for complacency with every match a must-win encounter.

The pool deciders certainly lived up to expectations with Fiji needing a late try from Semi Kunatani to deny a Justin Tipuric-inspired Wales and claim a 21-17 win in their Pool D decider, while England battled past hosts Australia 26-17 and New Zealand proved too hot for Canada, winning the Pool C finale 33-7. South Africa then brought the curtain down on a long day under the balmy Australian sun with a 26-5 win over Scotland.  

The bottom two teams in each pool now exit the competition with Australia to face Kenya and Scotland to meet Wales in the first stage of the fifth to eighth place play-offs.

South Africa were quickly into their stride in the final match of the opening round, Justin Geduld scoring a try in each half as the BlitzBoks showed their ruthless side with a dominant 43-0 defeat of Malaysia, the nation which hosted the first Commonwealth Games to feature rugby back in 1998.

The BlitzBoks warmed up for the pool decider with Scotland with an emphatic 52-0 defeat of a Papua New Guinea side that simply had no answer to the hard-running and support lines of the World Rugby Sevens Series leaders and spent virtually the whole game pinned deep in their own half. Ruhan Nel and Rosko Specman both scored braces in the win with South Africa yet to see their line breached in two matches.

The final match of the day pitted Scotland against a South African side that had not conceded a try and the first five minutes saw the teams testing each other out with no quarter given before Specman went over in the corner after a quick tap. Nel, Cecil Afrika and Geduld put the win beyond doubt in the second half before Jamie Farndale charged down the wing and spun out of the latter's tackle to breach the BlitzBoks' line. 

Saturday results:

Australia 24-7 Samoa
England 38-5 Jamaica 
Canada 10-26 Kenya 
New Zealand 54-0 Zambia 
Wales 31-5 Uganda 
Fiji 63-5 Sri Lanka 
Scotland 27-0 Papua New Guinea 
South Africa 43-0 Malaysia 
Australia 32-5 Jamaica 
England 33-0 Samoa 
Canada 47-0 Zambia 
New Zealand 40-7 Kenya 
Wales 42-12 Sri Lanka 
Fiji 54-0 Uganda 
Scotland 41-0 Malaysia 
South Africa 52-0 Papua New Guinea 
Samoa 36-7 Jamaica 
England 26-17 Australia 
Kenya 47-0 Zambia 
New Zealand 33-7 Canada 
Uganda 33-10 Sri Lanka 
Fiji 21-17 Wales 
Papua New Guinea 31-5 Malaysia 
South Africa 26-5 Scotland

Source: @WorldRugby

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