New Zealand and South Africa impress in Vegas
January 25, 2014
New Zealand defeated Australia 31-7 in Pool B to deliver a strong statement on the opening day of the IRB Sevens World Series event in Las Vegas, after Cameron Clark had scored and converted a try to give the Australians an early 7-0 lead.
Scott Curry and David Raikuna put the All Blacks Sevens 12-7 ahead at half-time before the World Series leaders shut out Australia in the second spell while extending the margin with another try for Curry and a brace for Sam Dickson.
New Zealand, yet to win in five attempts in Las Vegas, rounded out their opening day at Sam Boyd Stadium with a 26-5 victory over Scotland, Tim Mikkelson bagging a brace of tries with George Tilsley and Ambrose Curtis also scoring. James Johnstone scored for Scotland, who had earlier lost 24-0 to Fiji.
South Africa slammed Wales 43-0 in the opening match of the tournament in Pool A. The Blitzbokke scored seven tries - with Seabelo Senatla bagging a hat-trick and Justin Geduld and Branco du Preez claiming two apiece - before claiming another five through that same trio, Kyle Brown and Stephan Dippenaar in defeating Canada 29-0. Wales lost their second match of the day, 17-12 against Kenya
Samoa defeated England 22-19 in Pool C, Tom Iosefo scoring the match-winning try in the final minute of an absorbing see-saw contest. Samoa led through early tries from Sani Niue and Tulolo Tulolo, but England fought back to lead through a brace of tries from Dan Bibby, each converted by Tom Mitchell, before Samoa claimed a 17-14 half-time advantage through an unconverted try by Fale So'oialo. England led again midway through the second half, after James Rodwell scored an unconverted try, but Samoa claimed the spoils when Iosefo dotted down.
Samoa maintained their undefeated record on day one with a 17-12 victory against Uruguay to top Pool C , while England hammered Portugal 54-0. England scored eight tries, Mitchell claiming a brace and three conversions while Christian Lewis-Pratt, Tom Powell, Marcus Watson, Jeff Williams, Phil Burgess and Dan Norton also touched down. Lewis-Pratt landed four conversions.
Australia also registered victory in their second match of the day, in Pool B, defeating Fiji 22-21 with tries from Nick Malouf, Peter Schuster and Shannon Walker. Cameron Clark proved the difference, kicking two of three conversions but crucially landing the match-winning penalty goal five seconds from full-time. Osea Kolinisau scored two and converted two tries in the opening three minutes for Fiji, for whom Jona Tuitoga scored the third try converted by Emosi Mulevoro.
France and Argentina shared the spoils in Pool D, each defeating Spain and the United States. France beat Spain 47-0 and the USA 14-12, while Argentina recorded respective 33-5 and 19-12 margins over the same opponents.
The final pool matches and the quarter-finals are played on day two, with the semi-finals and finals on day three of the tournament.
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