The second day of the Rugby World Cup Sevens is well underway but catch up on all the action of the morning with a wrap from Winona Writer.
13th Place Play-offs
Kimico Manuel and Snenhlanhla Shozi both scored a hat-trick of tries as South Africa comfortably beat Mexico 34-0. South Africa is sure to grow as a team with more game time at this level.
Brazil and Papua New Guinea played out a closer play-off, with Brazil just edging out the win 15-12. Chelsea Garesa showed her try against Australia wasn't a one-off – twirling after she scored under the sticks in the first half.
England scored another healthy bag of tries against China – and haven’t conceded since their loss to Ireland in the Round of 16.
Japan won a closely fought match against crowd-favourites Fiji coming from 7-5 down at half time to clinch the game in the final play.
Fifth Place Play-offs
Spain was able to build on a half-time three-try lead to knock Canada out of the fifth-place playoff and Ireland downed Russia to join Spain there.
Ireland player Stacey Flood spent a season in Australia’s Uni 7s competition. The impact the time in the Aussie competition had on her game was on view through the World Series and again this weekend. She’s not returning this season but thinks some fellow Irish players might.
“I really enjoyed it. It’s a really good set up – it’s professional for the environment it’s in and it’s good to see so many girls playing the sport,” Flood said.
Flood was also clearly still buzzing, rapt by the win over England on Friday. “We had really been building for it. [We’ve had] weeks and weeks of prep for one game and I’m sure they were doing the same. It was nice to see that all pay off.”
Ashleigh Baxter, as the only Irish player at the last World Cup in 2013, reflected on how much the format has exploded and professionalised. “Sevens has grown so much in Ireland since then, we’re training pretty much full-time now. The difference in the rest of the world, even just the ways these sides [and the podium] are going to finish this time has changed.”
Both Baxter and Flood were in awe of the support they’ve had from the San Francisco crowd.
“It’s amazing, there’s so many Irish people. So many of our family and friends are over, but even just the Irish from around here. If we’re not playing the USA, everyone’s for the Irish.”
France ran over the top of Australia to cause the upset of the tournament and book a spot in the gold medal match. They responded well to trailing at halftime after a yellow card left them with six on the park. The World Series winners missed 13 tackles in a match that was won on defence.
France will hope they face a New Zealand slightly rattled by their semi-final against the United States. The Kiwis started well, scoring first but the hosts scored two in quick reply. Ruby Tui pared one back just before the break, but they trailed after a missed conversion.
As champion sides do, the New Zealand side found two second-half tries to book a spot in another World Cup final but were exposed slightly in defence when faced with a US side lifting incredibly to match the crowd’s roars.
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