Published June 30, 2013
MOSCOW (AFP) – New Zealand knocked defending champions Wales out of the Rugby World Cup Sevens on Sunday and set up a semi-final against arch-rivals Fiji.
Gordon Tietjens' All Blacks team have dominated the IRB World Series Sevens, winning 11 of the 14 titles on offer, but last won the World Cup in 2001.
They put in a clinical performance against the Welsh, unlikely outsiders who clinched victory in Dubai four years ago against odds of 80/1.
Up-and-coming Gillies Kaka scored a brace of tries, playmaker Tomasi Cama and Bryce Heem also crossing in a comprehensive 26-10 win.
"It wasn't meant to be," said Wales captain Lee Williams, the sole survivor from the squad that won in 2009.
"Utterly disappointing that game was there for us, but errors cost us."
Fiji produced a display of extremely aggressive defence to batter South Africa into a 12-10 defeat.
The Blitzbokke had not conceded a point in pool play, during which their exciting runners had been the highlight, but influential captain Kyle Brown was ruled out of the quarter after copping a two-match ban for foul play.
But the Fijians hit hard and dominated the breakdown, although Cecil Afrika missed a conversion from wide out after the hooter that would have pushed the game into extra-time.
"It is another disappointing World Cup for us," admitted South Africa coach Paul Treu. "It is a pity we couldn't do it for South Africa and Madiba, that is why we wanted to win this tournament, but it wasn't meant to be."
England will play Kenya in the other semi-final after beating Australia 21-17 in a tightly-fought encounter.
The Kenyans, coached by former England coach Mike Friday, scored a dramatic sudden-death 24-19 win over France after the two sides were pegged at 19 points apiece at full-time.
Willy Ambaka finally crashed over for the vital try through some desperate French defence flagging in soaring temperatures of 33 degrees Celsius (91F) at the Luzhniki Stadium.
In the women's competition, defending champions Australia paid for an injury to key playmaker Tiana Penitani in suffering a shock 14-10 defeat by Spain.
The Spanish will meet Canada, 15-12 victors over hosts Russia, in the semi-final, with New Zealand playing the United States in the other top-four play-off after they saw off England and Ireland respectively.