IRB Sevens World Series
New Zealand take on England in semi-finals
February 8, 2014
George Tilsely dives over for New Zealand to move into a semi-final spot © Getty Images
Hosts New Zealand will play defending champions England in the semi-finals of a waterlogged Wellington sevens rugby tournament. The other semi-final will pit International Rugby Board World Series leaders South Africa against three-time Wellington winners Fiji, with defence likely to have the same importance as it did in the quarterfinals.
Rain and wind has turned games on Saturday into tight, scrappy affairs, with just 16 tries scored across the four Cup games. Four of them went to New Zealand, including a double to Scott Curry as they trumped Canada 24-0.
Canada surprised most with three wins from three in pool play on Friday but they struggled to retain possession and were dominated at the breakdown by a New Zealand side who have registered three successive clean sheets since their tournament-opening loss to Fiji.
Unbeaten England trailed Samoa at halftime but superior pace saw them run out 21-7 winners, helped by two tries to Marcus Watson, leaving them on target to repeat their 2013 triumph.
The only other unbeaten side are Fiji, who thundered over for three early tries to virtually seal the result against Argentina before winning 29-7.
South Africa had to work hard to overcome Australia 10-0 in a defensive grind. The game was scoreless at halftime before veteran Cecil Afrika and Werner Kok crossed to maintain the Blitzbokke hopes of winning a third successive tournament.