Two wins not enough for Samoa in Vancouver

By Ulimasao Fata ,

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Jacob Ale (4) of Samoa leaps over Tom Mitchell (6) of England.

Jacob Ale (4) of Samoa leaps over Tom Mitchell (6) of England. (Photo: Photosport)

On any other given day, two wins from three games would have guaranteed the Manu Samoa Sevens a Cup quarterfinal berth.

But in Vancouver yesterday, victories over England, 21-5, and Wales, 28-10, were not enough. 

It was a heartbreaking result for the men in blue who showed a great deal of improvement after losing their first game to Argentina.

They needed to bounce back and that they did with style against a much more experienced England team. It was gutsy performance from a young team with some magic from veteran Alatasi Tupou. 

Samoa needed a leader and Tupou stood up again against Wales, parading his troops all over the park.

But it wasn’t to be.

Samoa Argentina and England all finished on 6 points.  

Argentina took second spot and moved through to the Cup quarter-finals having beaten Samoa 22-7 and Wales 35-12.

Samoa will today play in the Challenge Cup Final.

Here is a wrap up of the day from World Rugby:

Fiji and New Zealand were unbeaten after an action-packed opener to the sixth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Vancouver today. They progress to the Cup quarter-finals and face Argentina and USA respectively. Australia v South Africa and England v Kenya complete the day two Cup quarter-final line up.

England, 2017 Vancouver title winners, topped Pool B on points difference as they finished day one on six points along with Las Vegas runners-up Argentina and Samoa.  

Canada gave the home crowd much to cheer about at BC Place, battling hard to open their account with a 19-19 draw against Australia and a narrow 28-21 loss to Las Vegas champions USA in the last play of the second half.  In their final match of the day, Canada beat Uruguay 47-5 but just missed out on a place in the Cup quarter-finals after Australia beat the USA  31-21 in the Pool A closer. Canada’s Nathan Hirayama did however secure his own milestone as he passed sevens’ great Waisale Serevi on the all-time points table with a total of 1328.

Fellow Pool A side Uruguay join Canada in the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals alongside Samoa, Wales, France, Spain, Scotland and Russia.  Canada will face Scotland in the first match of day two at 0930 at BC Place.

Five tournaments and five different winners so far on the 2018 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series sees South Africa leading the series standings with 92 points ahead of New Zealand on 82 points.

 

POOL A

Home side Canada opened Pool A against current 2018 series fourth place holders, Australia, who secured a try from John Porch within 15 seconds. Canada responded well with two tries in the first half and by halftime led 12-7. Australia came out firing in the second half with two tries but Canada secured a 19-19 draw with a final try of the half. It would be a battle between Canada and Australia throughout the day as both sides chased USA in Pool A. USA’s clash with Canada was one of the most thrilling of the day, Perry Baker securing a brace and Kevon Williams sealing the 28-21 win in the last play of the game. Going into the final matches of the pool, Canada needed a 40-point win over Uruguay and for the USA to beat Australia in order to move to the Cup quarter-finals. Canada’s seven tries and 47-5 victory didn’t disappoint the crowd. However Australia came out firing in the last match of the day sealing a 31-21 victory over the USA to finish as Pool A leaders and through to the Cup quarter-finals with the USA.

 

POOL B

England, Cup winners in Vancouver last year, started their campaign and opened Pool B with a 36-5 win over Wales, which included three tries from Dan Norton. Their form didn’t continue against Samoa however as they held England to a 7-0 first half and followed with a further two tries in the second half to seal a 21-5 final scoreline. However, England’s last match of the day against Las Vegas runners-up Argentina, saw them run in a three-tries-to-one display and top the pool on points difference after Argentina, Samoa and England all finished on 6 points.  Argentina took second spot and moved through to the Cup quarter-finals having beat Samoa 22-7 and Wales 35-12. Samoa join Wales in the Challenge Trophy.

 

POOL C

Fiji and Kenya both showed their strength going head-to-head into the last clash of Pool C. Fiji had opened the day with a strong 47-5 win over Spain and a 38-7 victory over France. Kenya, similarly unbeaten in the first two rounds with a 14-7 win over France - Kenya scoring all their points in the second half - and a 43-0, seven try display, over Spain. Kenya were first to put points on the board with a try from Collins Injera, Fiji followed with two tries from Kalione Nasako and Eroni Sau, but also saw Waisea Nacuqu sin binned before the break. 12-7 to Fiji going into the second half, it was Kenya who responded first with a try from Eden Agero within 19 seconds. Fiji answered with two more tries, this time from Amenoni Nasilasila and Mesulame Kunavula. Kenya responded in the last seconds of the match with a try from Jefferey Oluoch but even with the boot of Samuel Oliech it wasn’t enough to catch Fiji and the game ended 24-21 with both sides going through to the Cup quarter-finals. France and Spain both progress to the Challenge Trophy quarter-finals, their end of day clash resulting in a 12-12 finish.

 

POOL D

New Zealand opened Pool D edging Scotland 31-26 with five tries to four and evening the score after Scotland beat the New Zealand Sevens last weekend in Las Vegas. 2018 series leaders South Africa also got points on the board with an opening 38-7 win against Russia. New Zealand went on to make it three from three with wins over Russia 31-5, and the Blitzbok 33-14. South Africa finished second in Pool D after a 21-0 win over Scotland, who fell to Russia in their last match of the day with a closely fought 26-24 margin. New Zealand Captain Scott Curry spoke to us about his sides clean sweep on day one in Canada.

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