Fiji rebounds into semifinals of USA Sevens rugby tournament

Fiji’s loss to South Pacific neighbor Samoa long has been forgotten.

The Warriors recovered with a 15-12 win against Argentina to end pool play Saturday and crushed Japan 43-7 in the quarterfinals in the USA Sevens rugby tournament at Sam Boyd Stadium. Fiji will meet the U.S. in the semifinals at 12:50 p.m. Sunday.

“I had reporters ask me if I was surprised about losing to Samoa,” said Waisale Serevi, retired rugby legend and Fijian. “I wasn’t surprised because it’s an Olympic year. It’s going to get tough. It’s better to lose (Friday) than to lose today. Teams are taking this competition serious.”

Japan was the Cinderella team to advance to the quarterfinals. The Japanese made it to the next stage with an impressive 26-19 victory over Scotland to conclude Pool B play.

New Zealand bounced

The biggest surprise of Saturday was Kenya’s dominat win against powerhouse New Zealand. The Kenyans routed the All Blacks 22-0. That set up the showdown between New Zealand and South Africa.

New Zealand’s new path ended up costing the All Blacks, as they fell to South Africa 14-7 in the quarterfinals.

Australia quietly cruises

The power-three of Fiji, New Zealand and South Africa, plus the host U.S. team, have received the attention. But Australia is 4-0, and every game has been a blowout.

Australia allowed only a combined 12 points against Scotland (26-0), Japan (35-5) and England (36-7).

The Wallabies defeated Argentina 26-12 in the quarterfinal and will face South Africa in the semifinals at 1:12 p.m. today.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0492. Follow him on Twitter: @gmanzano24

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