New Zealand ejects SA in Sevens

South Africa were eliminated in the semifinal of the IRB Sevens World Series on Saturday against the aggressive tackling of New Zealand, who then went on to beat Fiji 31-21 in a match of two vastly differing halves.

South Africa were eliminated in the semifinal of the IRB Sevens World Series on Saturday against the aggressive tackling of New Zealand, who then went on to beat Fiji 31-21 in a match of two vastly differing halves.

New Zealand, who had earlier tackled South Africa out of contention to win their semifinal clash 12-7, ran in three converted tries in the first half of the final.

A yellow card to Fiji's Neumi Nanuku with a try from the ensuing penalty in the first move after the break, saw the All Blacks in a seemingly safe position at 26-0.

But then Fiji cut loose, and within four minutes had taken the score to 26-21. A try to New Zealand with less than two minutes remaining put the result beyond doubt.

The semifinal between Fiji and England was probably more entertaining to the average spectator than the clash between the two southern hemisphere sides.

But the aggression, guts and uncompromising tackling of both the Springboks and All Blacks made up for the lack of free running in the clash between the two old foes.

It was obvious that New Zealand tried to capitalise on the lack of bulk of especially the smaller South African backs, and to starve the Springbok speedsters of possession.

It worked to a tee with a number of turnovers coming at the tackle-ball breakdown.

South Africa were, however, unlucky to have a late try disallowed for a forward pass, but justice was probably done in the end as the pressure from New Zealand wore down the Springboks.

In the quarterfinals on Saturday, South Africa survived a late try by Kenya to scrape home 17-15 to set up the semifinal against New Zealand, who beat Argentina 40-7. Fiji were far too strong for Scotland (28-5) after Samoa had lost to England. - Sapa

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