Fiji, Samoa, South Africa and New Zealand are all still in the hunt for the Cup heading into day three of the 2012 USA Sevens. Fiji, South Africa and New Zealand have reached the semifinals undefeated, while Samoa is 3-1 so far, having fallen to the All Blacks in both teams’ pool finale Saturday.
Samoa started that game well, looking like the well-oiled machine that won the Cup in Las Vegas back in 2010. Manu moved the ball efficiently and fluidly toward New Zealand’s try line, and Paul Perez put Samoa on top after just over a minute of play with a converted try.
Samoa dominated the rest of the half, but gave up a try to DJ Forbes nearly 90 seconds into extra time. Tomasi Cama then opened the second half with the go-ahead score, giving New Zealand the 12-7 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Manu bounced back in the Cup quarters, however, grinding down a smaller Kenya team. The Kenyans had been playing well all tournament, and did against Samoa, but the power of Alafoti Faosiliva, the 2010 USA Sevens tournament MVP, proved too much. Faosiliva bullied his way to three tries in the 19-14 win.
New Zealand ousted England in another close quarterfinal, 12-7. Frank Halai scored in the opening minute for the All Blacks, and Tomasi Cama in the second half. England speedster Dan Norton dotted down between the two New Zealand tries.
South Africa advanced to the semis with relative ease, downing Argentina 24-5. South Africa was up 19-0 off of Steven Hunt, Cecil Afrika and Kyle Brown tries before Javier Ortega Desio got Argentina on the board in the second half.
Fiji needed a big second half to surpass Wales, who scored in the last minute of the opening half to take a 5-0 lead. Setefano Cakau provided two second-half tries to propel Fiji into the final four.
The semifinal matchups pit Southern Hemisphere rivals against one another and Pacific Island foes head-to-head, as Samoa and Fiji meet in one and New Zealand and South Africa in the other.