Thursday, 25 April, 2019

South Africa wins Singapore 7s after incredible comeback against Fiji

New Zealand's Kurt Baker puts the fend on against Japan at the Singapore Sevens SUHAIMI ABDULLAH GETTY IMAGESNew Zealand's Kurt Baker puts the fend on against Japan at the Singapore Sevens
Cassandra Castillo | 17 April, 2019, 10:54

South Africa trailed 19-0 after a first half that was completely dominated by Fiji but turned the match around after halftime, matching Fiji's three tries and snatching the win with the last-gasp goal. The defending champions ripped through the South African line with three magnificent tries (Aminiasi Tuimaba, Napolioni Bolaca and Vilimoni Botitu) and two conversions.

The Pacific Island thrashed Canada 50-12, but suffered a 19-12 loss to Scotland and a 17-7 success against South Africa.

After beginning the 2018-19 World Series with an unbelievable five consecutive Cup final trips, which culminated in a win on their home soil in Las Vegas, the United States has finished "just" fourth and third in the last two tournaments in Vancouver and Hong Kong, respectively. I think just going to the field and telling the guys that we're still in the game, and if we score first we can give ourselves a shot at winning, this helped to inspire the younger players.

Said their head coach Gareth Baber, "As a team, we got quite a few injuries". "These youngsters hang onto every single word that you tell them and well done to them, they're very gutsy and showed it out there in the second half".

"We lost probably the most influential player early in the tournament during the first game against Canada".

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Waiting for them in the quarter-final is New Zealand, who pulled off a stunning 26-22 comeback win over Samoa in Pool D, after trailing 17-5 at half-time. He said: "They won (the Hong Kong Sevens) last weekend, so they're obviously not far from their best". We worked hard together, as a team, to get those tries.

The U.S. remain top of the series standings, their 15 points for fourth place in Singapore moving them to 145, three clear of Fiji.

Fiji are second in the Sevens Series standings with 123 points, seven behind leaders the US.

The 2018-19 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series continues this weekend with the Singapore Sevens from National Stadium in Kallang.

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