Kiwi Sevens rally to beat Australia

first_imgTietjens singled out final MVP and captain Karl Te Nana for special praise for his performance while stressing that the victory had been a collective effort.Te Nana himself was full of praise for the younger players adding that “they showed a lot of commitment and brought enthusiasm into the team.” The New Zealand side thrilled the audience at the end of the game by taking their shirts off and performing their traditional war dance — the Haka.Australian captain Richard Graham blamed the defeat on the number of injuries that his team had accumulated in the bruising quarterfinal game against South Africa and the tough semifinal against Fiji.“We had the hardest draw and injuries started to take their toll. At the end of the day injuries hurt us,” he said.Japan progressed to the bowl semifinals with a try with two minutes remaining to overcome unfancied Taiwan 19-12, but was outclassed in its next game, bowing out to the U.S. 19-5.In the semifinals of the main competition New Zealand downed Samoa 17-12 and Australia accounted for Fiji 17-7.Argentina defeated the U.S. 31-19 in the bowl final and South Africa thrashed England 38-15 to win the plate title. Controversy reigned in the bowl quarterfinal game between France and the U.S. when France appeared to have won the game in the last minute with a try in the corner. The referee’s assistant, however, had noticed a punch thrown by a French player and called the play back for a penalty on the half-way line. From the resulting penalty the U.S. broke through the French defense to score a dramatic try and win the match.The quarterfinals of the main competition featured tournament favorite Australia against the improving South African team. Australia, which had amassed an unanswered tally of 133 points in the pool stage, displayed composure in breaking down the resilient South African defense and progressed to a quarterfinal clash with Fiji with a 12-10 win.In other quarterfinal games, Fiji brushed aside Wales 38-5, New Zealand thrashed England 26-7 and the powerful Samoans overcame the plucky Canadians 12-7.New Zealand tops the standings in the World Sevens Series with 122 points followed by Australia on 118 and Fiji on 104.The series moves on to London on May 26 and 27, and culminates in Wales on April 2 and 3. GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES New Zealand won the Japan Sevens final 26-12 against Australia at a soggy Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium on Monday. Trailing 12-7 at halftime with a player in the sin bin for violent conduct, New Zealand rallied in the second half scoring three unanswered tries to come away with the victory.“The win was particularly satisfying for us as we had a few injuries and had to use some of our more inexperienced players in the final,” said Gordon Tietjens, the New Zealand coach. “We had three tough matches today and to we needed to win today to get back to the top of the table in the series after losing in the final in Malaysia last week,” he added.center_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5last_img

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