Fiji, NZ, England & Samoa Hong Kong 7’s Semis

Fan favorites Fiji got their game flowing – but needed extra time to do it – as they rolled past South Africa and into the semifinals of the Hong Kong Sevens Sunday.


Fiji had late substitute David Batiratu to thank for their 24-19 victory as he barged his way through the South African defense in the second minute of extra time after scores had been locked 19-19 at the end of regular time.


The reward for Fiji’s efforts was a mouthwatering clash with New Zealand who had a much easier time of it against Portugal in the Cup quarterfinals, winning 33-5.


The other semifinal will see England face reigning Hong Kong champions Samoa, after the English had beaten Russia 10-7 and Samoa had seen off Australia 15-12.


Fijian coach Iliesa Tanivula said his charges had lifted their game as the tournament had progressed but was under no illusions about the challenge left ahead.


“It is all coming together for us at the right time,” he said. “But now we have New Zealand and everyone knows just how tough a team they are, and what a great coach they have in Gordon Tietjens. Hell have a plan for playing against us so we have to be ready.”


Persistent rain failed to dampen spirits on the final day of the worlds premier rugby sevens event but Tietjens said it could have an effect on the tournament outcome.


“First we have to deal with Fiji but this rain might makes things really interesting out there for all the teams left,” he said. “Yesterday I was worried that some of our players had looked a bit lethargic but we got a good nights rest in. Fiji will be a major test for us.”


New Zealand and England currently share the series lead, with the Hong Kong event being the fifth on the eight tournament calendar.

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