Massive final day set for Sydney

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New Zealand's Black Ferns can steal a march on the field for Olympic Games qualification on Sunday's final day of the HSBC Sevens in Sydney.

Thanks to France upsetting Australia 10-5 in their quarterfinal on Saturday, New Zealand have a chance to take advantage. But, first, they must overcome Ireland in their semifinal at 5.44 pm.

The All Blacks Sevens saved their first win over Samoa in this season's series when shutting down their Pacific neighbours and claiming a 12-0 victory. They will face France in their semifinal at 6.06pm.

The Black Ferns claimed their semifinal berth when beating Japan in consecutive games, but in the quarterfinal by 33-0.

A solid defensive display was backed by deadly opportunism when tries presented themselves, none better than in the individual skills unleashed by Jorja Miller, who scored two tries.

Stacey Waaka-Fluhler was sin-binned for an illegal challenge at a restart, but that did nothing to slow the flow of points, and she marked her return with a demonstration of skill to add to the try-scoring list.

Speedsters Michael Blyde and Portia Woodman-Wickliffe book-ended the scoring with tries to start and finish the game.

New Zealand finished their pool play with a 27-12 win over Japan. A little guilty of losing possession in the early stages, they tightened their game and had too many players in support for Japan to cope.

Blyde scored two of her hat-trick of tries in the first five minutes, while Fluhler scored for New Zealand to claim a 15-0 halftime lead. Blyde and Shiray Kaka added two more tries by the 10-minute mark.

But Japan took a far better toll with their opportunities in the latter stages of the game as Yukino Tsujisaki and Chiharu Nakamura were able to outrun Kiwi defenders to score two tries.

The All Blacks Sevens took a patient approach into their quarterfinal with Samoa, producing another fine try for Roderick Solo, whose speed on the outside break capped good set-up work by Leroy Carter on the opposite flank.

Then, when facing a Samoan five-metre scrum, the New Zealanders produced the perfect scrum shove to wrest the ball and win a reset.

From that Ngarohi McGarvey-Black kicked into the Samoan half, and with rapid support play, they turned the ball over and created a chance ending with McGarvey-Black sealing the outcome.

Completing their pool play against South Africa, the All Blacks Sevens paid the price for crucial mistakes in a tight, defensive contest. Leading 14-7 in the second half after a neatly executed cross-kick to Solo, New Zealand faltered when South Africa was down to six men.

Making a midfield break Akuila Rokolisoa threw a loose ball in the tackle, and South African feet speculated the ball downfield. Amanaki Nicole raced back to recover the ball. But he attempted to clear the ball seven metres out from his line by throwing an attempted long pass, only to see Zain Davids easily intercept the ball to level the scores.

Then, moments from the end, New Zealand was penalised in front of the posts for Ricardo Duarttee to kick a penalty goal to claim the win.

Earlier, the All Black Sevens were untroubled in scoring five tries in their 33-0 win over Kenya. Rokolisoa, Sione Molia, Dylan Collier, Solo and Lewis Ormond all crossed, while Rokolisoa and McGarvey-Black both landed two conversions to boost the final margin.


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