Sun 12 Mar 2017 | 03:45

Vancouver 7s: BlitzBoks stay on course

Vancouver 7s: BlitzBoks stay on course
Sun 12 Mar 2017 | 03:45

Vancouver 7s: BlitzBoks stay on course


South Africa went through to a 36th consecutive Cup quarterfinal in Vancouver – topping Pool A.

Astonishingly, they have won 29 of their 32 matches on this season's tour, but their two defeats and a draw in Vancouver have all come against England.

They will be joined by England, who played to a thrilling 12-all draw with the BlitzBoks in the final pool match and are unbeaten on Day One.

The United States and Australia will be contesting the big show – the Cup quarterfinals.

However, Mike Friday's Americans have laid down a real marker and finished top of Pool C.

More concerning for Australia is that – a last-gasp try aside – they never really managed to fire a shot at their American opponents.

Argentina came from behind to win against Fiji and snatch last-eight spot.

Hosts Canada saw off Scotland 28-15 and defeated Russia 26-5.

Cup quarterfinals:
(Kick-off is local time – GMT minus eight hours)
South Africa v Canada – 11.08
United States v Argentina 11.30
New Zealand v England
Fiji v Australia 12.14

All the Round Three action!

Pool A
(South Africa, England, Kenya, Chile)

Kenya threatened an upset against England earlier but they were being blown away by an on-song Chile, who run in three tries inside the first four minutes. The pick of the bunch came from Francisco Metuaze, who skilfully danced over the line for his first-ever Sevens Series try. The man top of the all-time try scorers list, Collins Injera, reduced the deficit.

It's been seven years since Chile last won on the Sevens Series tour, and tries from Eden Agero, Samuel Oliech and Frank Wanyama help Kenya finish with a flourish.

The Shujaa Sevens made hard work of it, but they've just had enough gas in the tank to seal third spot in Pool A.

There was a  classic score from England's top try-scorer Dan Norton, who moved to within three of Collins Injera's record as he put Simon Amor's team in front. He feints to go back on the inside but explodes round the outside to the line.

Rosko Specman put his head down and the young flier has bundles of speed and vision which means he flew through the challenge from Phil Burgess and drew the BlitzBoks level. A nice touch too from Burgess, who shakes Specman's hand after accidentally grabbing the South African speedster's locks as he flew past.

Dylan Sage did brilliantly to palm off the challenge of Dan Norton and score South Africa's second, following the restart after a great break by Philip Snyman.

Sustained pressure from England with ball-in-hand attacks and Dan Norton went inside the last 30 seconds. The conversion levelled it. South Africa win the turnover and boot it out to top Pool A.

Kenya 26-19 Chile
South Africa 12-12 England

Pool B
(Fiji, Argentina, Samoa, Wales)

Tremendous sweeper play from Tila Mealoi denied Owen Jenkins in the corner before Samoa stormed up the other end and took the lead when Alamanda Motuga shakes off a couple of challenges to land the 10th try of his career. Danny Kayes grabbed a second on the stroke of the break.

Samoa did not touched the ball in the first six minutes of the second half. They were simply chasing the Welsh dragons.

There was some great hand-eye coordination and a wicked run from Luke Morgan, who scored four in Vegas last weekend, to set up a Wales fightback. And then, incredibly, Cory Allen's quickfire double delivered a knockout punch. Wales were trailing by 14 points but have delivered a champagne finish and can still join the last eight.

Vatemo Ravouvou, who is such a powerful menace and a deadly finisher, struck first for the Fijians. Renzo Barbier's converted try briefly put Argentina in front, until Kalione Nasoko  swung the pendulum the other way again.

Argentina lost their concentration for a split second and Fiji pounced as Waisea Nacuqu collected a chip and chase, kept his composure and offloaded magnificently for Kalione Nasoko.

Argentina are off to a quick start in the second period as Luciano Gonzalez Rizzoni went over. But off the bench comes Samisoni Viriviri, and the former World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year hit back for Fiji.

With the Fijians down to six players, Matias Osadczuk scored – putting Los Pumas within a converted try from the win and qualification.

Into the final 30 seconds Argentina probed down the right and Franco Sabato went over in the corner. The conversion gave Argentina the win and qualification.

Samoa 14-21 Wales
Fiji 24-26 Argentina

Pool C
(United States, Australia, France, Japan)

France got themselves on the board after just 13 seconds, as Sacha Valleau collected Terry Bouhraoua's kick-off. Japan had players down and there was space for Valleau to operate in, and he didn't disappoint. Then, there was a bad slice of luck for Rikiya Oishi – the ball slipped through his grasp and Jonathan Laugel pounced for France.

You can never rule out Japan because they will not go quietly. They hit back with a couple of late and well-worked first-half tries from Katsuyuki Sakai and Masahiro Nakano to make this a two-point game.

Three and a half minutes on the clock and it was six players versus six players. Kosuke Hashino carved out a pass for Dallas Tatana and there are two points in the game again. With only six on the pitch, France were holding onto possession sensibly until a burst of pace from Terry Bouhraoua exploited the tired Japanese legs. That was his 114th Sevens Series try.

Mike Friday's American team showed glimpses of brilliance in Las Vegas last weekend, and they have started like a rocket in Vancouver. Perry Baker, so silky and smooth across the ground, banged down a five-pointer after waltzing past Stannard as though he wasn't there.

Madison Hughes sent a grubber forward and Perry Baker is after it like lightning. Henry Hutchison is no slouch, but when you're up against a man that can cover 100m in less than 11 seconds, you don't stand much chance. The Americans were in red-hot form. Danny Barrett added a third before the halfway mark.

The Yanks brought on Maka Unufe after the break and he made an impact right from the kick-off by collecting possession and setting his dancing feet surging for the line. He scored a second with another injection of pace.

France 31-19 Japan
United States 29-5 Australia

Pool D
(New Zealand, Canada, Scotland, Russia)

German Davydov spun it inside quickly and Eduard Filatov was in support with the ball on the ground to get Russia ahead with his 13th Sevens Series try. With the clock at zero in the first half, Scotland strung some passes together and worked it from right to left before Scott Riddell reached a half-century of tries on the tour.

It ended in a first win for Russia against Scotland on the tour since 2006 – first  Fleming went over and then Peki put Canada ahead.

It was a beautiful start by the Canadians, as Pat Kay won the turnover and Adam Zaruba sent a magical offload into the hands of captain Harry Jones. The Canada captain rode the tackles and drove for the line as BC Place went berserk.

But some individual brilliance got New Zealand on the board, as 18-year-old Vilimoni Koroi showed maturity beyond his years to chip forward and dot down.

Scott Curry scored his third of the weekend for the All Blacks Sevens. He picked up a big, looping pass from Ambrose Curtis and when Harry Jones lost his stride, Curry exploited the space.  

Dazzling, brilliant footwork from Vilimoni Koroi to sealed his brace when he was one-on-one with big Adam Zaruba from five metres. The Canadian actually ended up on the turf, such is the extent of his bewilderment at the teenager's footwork.

There was enough time for Zaruba to get a consolation score, but New Zealand won through to top the pool.

Scotland 10-12 Russia
New Zealand 15-14 Canada

Source: @WorldRugby7s

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