Boks face hosts in quarters
16 Mar 2006
South Africa will tackle Australia in the quarter-finals of the Commonwealth Games Sevens in Melbourne, after topping their pool.
The Boks recovered from a shock 26-19 defeat to Tonga to finish first in Pool D. Samoa began with a 31-10 win against Uganda, before Uganda surprised Tonga. However, South Africa recovered to beat Uganda 63-7 and then pipped Samoa 12-10.
In Pool A Cory Jane grabbed a brace and Liam Messam and Sosene Anesi both scored on their return to Sevens as New Zealand first beat Wales 35-10, Namibia 41-7 and finally Kenya in the day’s penultimate game.
In the pool’s key encounter in deciding Medal quarter final places, Wales proved far too strong for Kenya, Dai Rees’ men winning 33-0. They then beat Namibia 40-7 to confirm their place in the last eight. Former Kenya captain Oscar Osir Osula had earlier marked his return to Sevens with a hat trick of tries against Namibia as Kenya ran out 31-5 winners, but could do nothing to prevent Wales’ dominance in their match.
In Pool B favourites Fiji won their two opening games, Neumi Nanuku scoring two tries in each. The first was a 31-14 win over Canada and the second an easier 63-0 victory over Niue.
In the pool’s most significant match in deciding Medal quarter final places, Canada beat Scotland 10-7 to pave the way for a place in the last eight, clinched with their 24-7 win over Niue. Scotland had earlier proved too strong for Niue, running out 33-5 winners, but succumbed to Fiji 33-7 and missed the chance they craved to push for medals on day two.
In Pool C hosts Australia coasted to an easy opening win against Sri Lanka, Chris Latham romping to a hat trick in the 73-0 win, but were made to work far harder in the afternoon session by the Cook Islands, who fought back superbly against Ella’s men in a match Australia finally won 28-17.
In the same pool England opened up with a 35-5 win over the Cook Islands, senior side hopefuls Tom Varndell and Magnus Lund both scoring tries, before proving far too strong for Sri Lanka, winning 61-0. All of which set up the pool’s – and the day’s – final match between old enemies England and Australia. Latham put Glen Ella’s men ahead, but England fought back and took advantage of sin-binnings to edge it 14-12.
Australia vs South Africa
England vs Samoa
New Zealand vs Canada
Fiji vs Wales