Singapore Sevens: New Zealand tumble out to Fiji in quarterfinals – Stuff.co.nz


Akuila Rokolisoa and New Zealand found Fiji too tough on day two in Singapore.

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Akuila Rokolisoa and New Zealand found Fiji too tough on day two in Singapore.

Fiji ensured a second quarterfinal exit in the space of a week for New Zealand with a dominant victory in the final eight of the Singapore Sevens on Sunday.

With memories still fresh of their Hong Kong tournament triumph a week earlier, Fiji scored three tries to one to end New Zealand’s title hopes with a 19-5 scoreline.

Fiji booked a semifinal against England while series leaders United States face South Africa in their other semi.

Fiji's fans were again in full voice as their side chased back to back sevens titles.

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Fiji’s fans were again in full voice as their side chased back to back sevens titles.

New Zealand were eliminated from the main draw in Hong Kong by France, who went on to lose the decider to Fiji who then dedicated their title to the victims of last month’s Christchurch shootings.

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Under the roof of Singapore’s National Stadium Fiji finished second in their pool while New Zealand went through day one unbeaten to set up the heavyweight clash of the second and third-ranked sides in the series.

Scott Curry of New Zealand gallops away against Spain during pool play.

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Scott Curry of New Zealand gallops away against Spain during pool play.

Tim Mikkelson opened the scoring for New Zealand but Fiji struck back quickly via Josua Vakurunabili.

​Then with a man in the sin bin Fiji took control with a try to Livai Koroigasagasa late in the half as New Zealand missed their fifth tackle of the opening stanza.

New Zealand had a chance to draw level again just before the break but Akuila Rokolisoa dropped a flip pass from Mikkelson with the line open after a sweeping attack.

Fiji led 12-5 at the break then forged clear with their third try to Vilimoni Botitu, before New Zealand’s Joe Webber looked to have scored a late try but was forced into touch by a Alasio Naduva cover tackle.

In the other quarterfinals South Africa beat Samoa 21-12, USA pipped Argentina 12-10 and England sent Australia packing with a 31-19 victory.

New Zealand made a storming start on day one with twin runaway victories and then a dramatic come-from-behind effort to pip Samoa.

After thumping Japan 43-0 first up, coached Clark Laidlaw’s Kiwis backed it up with an equally convincing 53-0 victory over Spain and then a dramatic 26-22 nailbiter over the unlucky Samoans to finish top of Pool D.



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