SAN FRANCISCO – Holders New Zealand advanced to the final of the World Cup Sevens here Sunday after defeating Olympic champions Fiji 22-17 in the semi-finals.
The 2013 champions will now play England in Sunday’s final at AT&T Park after a disciplined semi-final win over the South Pacific Islanders.
Joe Ravouvou gave New Zealand the early lead with a try in the corner before Fiji punished poor tackling to hit back through Semi Radradra.
New Zealand’s ferocious play at the breakdown reaped its rewards when they were awarded a penalty for an infringement at a ruck.
A quick tap saw the ball spun wide quickly for Dylan Collier who dotted down to make it 10-7.
New Zealand All Blacks just beat Fiji 22:17 in the Rugby Sevens World Cup Semi-Finals! Nice! The All Blacks are going to the Final! Will they secure the double for both men and women in this tournament? Fingers crossed! #RugbyIsLife #RugbySevens #GiveBloodPlayRugby #RWC7s pic.twitter.com/RZT1Kqs6t1
— Schalke USA #S04 (@schalke_usa) July 22, 2018
There was controversy when Fiji was awarded a second try soon afterwards through Amenoni Nasilasila despite replays appearing to show he had put a foot in touch before scoring.
New Zealand, however, shrugged off the setback and responded with a clinical second-half performance.
Regan Ware darted through a gap for the New Zealanders’ third try to make it 15-12, and then another well-worked move sent Ravouvou over in the corner for his second try of the game.
Alasio Naduva scored a late consolation for Fiji but it was too little too late.
Earlier, England booked their place in the final defeating South Africa 29-7.
South Africa, the reigning world sevens series champions, took an early lead when playmaker Selvyn Davids dived over in the corner for a converted score.
But England, who are chasing their first victory in the tournament since 1993, hit back with tries from Harry Glover, Tom Mitchell, Ruaridh McConnochie, Oliver Lindsay-Hague and Dan Norton to seal their place in the final.