Update: Great NZ defence against Fiji sets up SA semifinal

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New Zealand will play South Africa in a semifinal at 11.14am (NZT).


The New Zealanders denied Fiji the opportunity to get their running game flowing, cutting players down with effective tackles, until the 14th minute when Josua Vakurunabili scored.


But the All Blacks Sevens, through tries to Tim Mikkeson in the first minute and Sione Molia in the fourth, took a 12-0 lead to the halftime break.


In the action that led to Fiji's try, Sam Dickson was sin-binned, leaving the All Blacks Sevens with only six men for the last 40 seconds of the game. But once securing the ball from the re-start they held onto it and they finished the game with a flourish when Joe Ravouvou raced into a gap, kicked the ball ahead and regathered to score the last try of the game.


Day One: New Zealand were forced to quell some determined play before beating Ireland 33-24 in their final game of the first day in the HSBC Vancouver Sevens on Sunday (NZT).


New Zealand will play Fiji at 7.41am (NZT) on Monday as a result of Fiji suffering a 21-26 loss to Canada in their pool play. Canada finished top of their group after earlier beating France 31-21 and finishing with a 29-7 win over Wales.


A key second half defensive tackle by Amanaki Nicole stopped a dangerous Ireland breakout after a restart and New Zealand were able to turn play around and regain the lead.


Akuila Rokolisoa opened the scoring for the All Blacks Sevens but Ireland responded with two tries to Liam Turner and Jack Kelly. However, Caleb Clarke ran a superb line in a move from the restart and New Zealand went to the break leading 14-12.


Rokolisoa scored early in the second half to extend the lead but then Jordan Conroy got Ireland back within touching distance before Kelly gained the lead.



In the subsequent play Nicole's tackle provided New Zealand with ball and Vilimoni Koroi cleared out to put them back in front 26-24 and in the final moments it was Nicole who deservedly put the issue beyond doubt.


Kenya proved no match for the All Blacks Sevens in their opening game. Joe Ravouvou crossed in the third minute with Vilimoni Koroi following two minutes later. Tone Ng Shiu's eighth minute try was followed by Koroi's second a minute later and Clarke scored in the 12th minute while Kenya were scoreless.


Spain, who had achieved some giant-killing outcomes in recent tournaments, also failed to get on the scoreboard as New Zealand ran in a 31-0 performance.


Andrew Knewstubb scored first, a minutes into the game with Tim Mikkelson and Sam Dickson also crossing before halftime at which point New Zealand led 19-0.


Clark and Ravouvou scored their second tries from the day in the second half as they completed a 31-0 win.



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