England and New Zealand on collision course
February 13, 2011
England's Ben Gollings looks to move the ball during his side's victory over Kenya © Getty Images
England and New Zealand are on course for their third final showdown of the season after reaching the semi-finals of the latest HSBC Sevens World Series event in Las Vegas.
Ben Ryan's England, who won the opening tournament in Dubai, face South Africa in the final four while Gordon Tietjens' New Zealand, who edged England for the title in George and Wellington, meet Fiji. In a change to the usual competition format, the Cup quarter finals were staged late on day one to tie in with the first live broadcasting of the World Series on network television across the States, on NBC.
England became the first team through to the Cup semi-finals after a 28-14 victory over Kenya. Humphrey Kayange had given Kenya a 7-0 lead in their first Cup quarter-final since the 2010 Hong Kong Sevens but two tries from both James Rodwell and Mat Turner secured England's place in their fourth successive Cup semi-final.
Argentina also scored first in their quarter-final through Javier Ortega Desio but seven New Zealand tries including two from man of the moment Declan O'Donnell ensured Gordon Tietjens' side reached the semi finals.
Fiji took a 12-0 lead in their quarter-final against Pacific Island rivals Samoa before Alafoti Fa'osiliva and Alatasi Tupou drew the scores level. Iliesa Tanivula's side lost to Samoa at the same stage of the NZI Sevens last week but Peni Ganimeke - billed as the next William Ryder - ensured Fiji's place in the semis.
South Africa reached their first Cup semi-final of the season after beating Australia 19-14 in the final match of day one thanks to tries from Cecil Afrika, Branco du Preez and captain Kyle Brown.
Earlier in the day, Collins Injera scored his 100th career try in the World Series during Kenya's 25-10 defeat to New Zealand. England captain Ben Gollings also recorded a piece of history, surpassing 2,500 all time points.
England topped Pool A after a narrow 17-14 victory over Argentina in the pool decider after both sides had earlier beaten France and Guyana. New Zealand finished on top of Pool B after victories over Wales, Uruguay and Kenya.
Fiji ended the pool stages on top of Pool C after beating Australia having already seen off Scotland and Canada. In Pool D, South Africa and Samoa reached the Cup quarter-finals after playing out a 7-7 draw having both beaten hosts USA and Japan.
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