Blitzboks beat New Zealand to win the Dubai Sevens
Dec 03, 2017, 00:32
The season curtain-raiser saw England dusting off the cobwebs but they still did enough to win three matches from three in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series - setting up a last-eight tie against rivals Australia.
The reigning world series champions unleashed all their attacking firepower in what was a breathtaking display of sevens rugby across the two days.
The 14-12 USA win reversed the pool play result, where the Kiwis dominated 45-14, and is the first time the Black Ferns Sevens have lost a match since January - when they were also beaten by the Americans.
Rosko Specman, Seabelo Senatla and Kwagga Smith crossed to give the Blitzboks a 19-0 half-time lead before the All Blacks Sevens staged a valiant second-half rally.
"It was a great performance from the guys", said Senatla, who scored seven tries in Dubai.
The Kiwis had remained unbeaten in pool play and through the quarter and semi- finals at the season-opening Dubai Sevens, but never really recovered from a storming South African start in the final. With the conversion good, Fiji mounted their comeback through Jerry Tuwai, the quick footed playmaker running in an easy score after multiple phases of play stretched the defence thin.
Amor reserved particular praise for Harry Glover who scored the last second winning try against Australia.
Kenya Sevens have qualified for today's Dubai Sevens Main Cup quarter-final after beating Uganda 29-14 in a physical decisive final Group A match at The Sevens Stadium, last evening.
New Zealand had looked on course to go all the way after a day one where they defeated South Africa 40-0 and France 28-7, before thrashing the USA. After an interception in their own half, New Zealand stormed forward through Sam Dickson but he got scragged short.
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But the matches against Tunisia and England will be particularly evocative for their coach Hernan Dario Gomez. They will play their first game against Tunisia in Volgograd on 18 June, the fifth day of the tournament.
For him, I always considered his interest because for me he's an Arsenal player and has been since he was a kid. I just want to focus and to prepare well my team, and give my team a good chance to win the game.
Additionally, he has plus-plus raw power and has been clocked as an 80-grade runner, so there is seemingly nothing he can't do. All 30 teams could potentially be in the mix, since worldwide signing caps significantly limit the price of the 23-year-old.
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