Semi-finalists confirmed at HSBC Spain Sevens in Málaga

  • In the men’s tournament, South Africa win their 27th consecutive match to set up the semi-final against Australia
  • The inexperienced England beat France to reach the last four, where they face Argentina
  • Women’s Series leaders Australia reach the semi-finals along with USA, France and Russia
  • The Polish women become the first invited team to reach the quarter-finals since 2018
  • Naya Tapper becomes the all-time leading scorer for women in the US

The inaugural HSBC Spain Sevens were a treat on day two, with dominant displays, big surprises and individual masterclasses on display at the Stadium Ciudad de Málaga.

South Africa’s men on their way to a fifth straight HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title by reaching the semifinals with a perfect record, extending their winning streak to 27 in a row.

New Zealand are now the only team to have done better, and their record of 47 consecutive wins from 2007/08 remains a daunting feat to equal.

The Blitzboks face Australia in the semi-finals on Sunday, while England and Argentina meet on the other side of the draw after knocking out France and Ireland respectively.

In the women’s tournament, favorites Australia reached the semi-finals with a record-breaking 15th win in a row to set up a clash with Russia, while France and the US go head-to-head in the other semi-final after setting perfect records so far in Malaga.

The Russians had to get past the surprise package Poland, which in April 2018 became the first invited team since China to reach the quarter-finals thanks to a shock pool win over Canada.

BLITZBOKS FACE STAR TEST

South Africa went on to favor Spain after four consecutive cup wins, but they had to work for a 14-0 win over Canada, which saw the Blitzboks an eighth consecutive semi-final.

The Canadians went to work hard during the breakdown and a try was disallowed due to a knock-on, because no score was registered at half time.

They continued to frustrate the Blitzboks until the 11th minute, when substitute Ryan Oosthuizen grabbed the corner. A handling error led to a try by Justin Geduld at the end of the game, but Canada went out with head held high.

South Africa’s next task is Australia in a ravishing semi-final on Sunday, after the third seed defeated the US 26-7 thanks to a sparkling second half.

Australia started off slow, winning one of their three group matches and going straight at halftime in their quarter-finals after Corey Toole’s early attempt was canceled by Perry Baker, who mustered an excellent Logan Tago offload to dot in the corner.

But Josh Turner’s mesmerizing footwork confused the Eagles defense as the Australian danced under the posts in the second half of the wing, before Dietrich Roache and Maurice Longbottom came up with loose passes to secure a comfortable win. to make.

A young England side with six new faces also made it to the last four thanks to a 12-5 win over a much-acclaimed French side.

All the goals came in the first half as Hayden Hyde and Blake Boyland crossed both sides of an attempt by Joachim Trouabal, and the French resistance ended when Varian Pasquet was sinned out for a high tackle in the last minute.

World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year Marcos Moneta was at his best as Argentina defeated Ireland 29-5 to face England.

Moneta flew down the right wing to give the Pumas the lead, before adding a second in virtuoso style by chasing down his own caterpillar, dribbling it over the line and setting it down.

Luciano Gonzalez gave up a third try before half-time and although Conor Phillips struck back, the Irish comeback was short lived as the second from Germany’s Schulz and Gonzalez rose to the challenge.

WOMEN’S FAVORITES FLEX MUSCLES

Poland’s stellar build-up to the knockouts was the story of the group stages in the women’s event, but they were undone against fourth-seeded Russia with a 26-5 loss despite a dream start.

Julia Drugzala took advantage of a loose pass to give the Poles the lead in the first minute and give hopes for a big surprise.

But an inspired hat-trick from Russia’s second all-time scorer Alena Tiron and a late score from Baizat Khamidova secured a comfortable Russian victory.

They then face a huge task against HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 leaders Australia, winners of both Dubai events late last year, who won 33-10 to Canada.

Maddison Levi got off the couch twice to pass the whitewash as the Aussies put in a controlled and clinical performance.

The US did enough to beat a hard-fought quarter-final encounter with England, taking 22-17 winners for a fourth straight win in Málaga.

Naya Tapper showed explosive acceleration to put the Americans up front in a balanced first half, becoming her country’s all-time all-time try-scorer.

Two tries in two minutes after the break by Iloha Maher and Kris Thomas extended the USA’s lead, before Emma Uren narrowed it to a one-score match with two minutes left to play.

The US will face France in the semi-finals on Sunday after Les Bleues responded brilliantly to an early attempt by Beibhinn Parsons to drive Ireland away with a 33-5 win.

Attempts by Camille Grassineau, Yolaine Yengo and Valentine Lothoz led the French at halftime and Seraphine Okemba extended their advantage after their break with her fourth try in Malaga, before Jade Ulutule took a comfortable win.

GERMANY MAKE A POINT IN THE POOL POSITION

There were some big shocks and memorable moments at the start of the day in the final round of men’s pool games, not least from Germany who followed an impressive 12-12 draw with Australia on day one by Japan leading 29 -0 to beat.

Only the difference in points prevented the invited team from reaching the knockout stage as they finished on six points with number two Australia, who fell to a 10-5 defeat to Pool B winners Ireland.

Tournament favorites South Africa already demonstrated their ferocious pace, strength and skill as they ran in seven tries in a 43-0 win over England in the Group A first-place finish.

In Pool D, France came out on top but ended badly by throwing away a 15-0 lead and losing 26-15 to Kenya, while Canada rose up for a winner-takes-all battle against Wales with an impressive 26-7 win.

Kevon Williams showed dazzling footwork as the American flyer scored two early attempts to send the US on its way to a 24-17 victory over Argentina in the first place decision in Pool C, while host nation Spain finished on a high by invited Jamaica 38 to beat. -7.

POLAND SPRING A SURPRISE

USA already secured first place in Pool B after consecutive victories on the first day, as their last opponents Fiji were unable to travel to Málaga.

Canada’s showdown with Poland by invitation therefore turned into an outright runner-up shootout, and it lived up to the hype.

The Poles gave up a 10-0 lead at 14-10 halftime, but fought back for a 17-14 win as Malgorzata Koldej showed scorching speed on the wings to complete a stunning hat-trick and a quarter-final. to oppose Russia.

Canada finished as one of the top third-seeded teams to reach a quarter-final against Australia, after the Series leaders defeated Spain 20-0 to take a third consecutive win and Group A.

Ireland took second place with a 29-12 win over the invitational team Belgium to book a clash with France, who took first place in Pool C with a confident 17-0 win over number two Russia.

England’s 24-10 win over Brazil in the opening game of the day was enough to give them a third-place finish in Pool C which led them to the knockout stages.

Brazil ended the day with a big disappointment after being defeated by Belgium, which took its first win in the World Series with their first participation. This clash in the semi-finals for 9th place was played in extra time with each team trying alternately, until Ciska De Grave sealed the score for the BelSevens, 12-17.

EXAMPLE OF DAY THREE

The action at the Ciudad de Málaga Stadium kicks off at 10am local time (GMT +1) with two women’s fifth-place semi-finals as England take on Ireland and Canada get a chance for revenge against Poland.

But the top prize is on the line at 10:44, when the US takes on France in the first of the Women’s Cup semi-finals, followed by Russia’s clash with Australia at 11:06.

The ninth place women’s play-offs and the men’s semi-finals follow, whetting the appetite for the first men’s cup semi-final between South Africa and Australia at 2:09 PM.

England then face Argentina at 2:31 PM, followed by a series of play-off finals.

The bronze finals for men and women are consecutive, the women at 17:37 and the men immediately afterwards at 17:59.

Finally, the women’s champion will be decided in the cup final at 6:26 PM, before the men’s cup final concludes the weekend’s action at 6:56 PM.

Read more >>> Thrills in Málaga as HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 returns

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