Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018: Fiji crush Japan to reach quarter-finals in San Francisco; All Blacks and USA also through
A superb second half sees Gareth Baber’s side coast to victory on an electric opening day of the Rugby World Cup Sevens at AT&T Park
They took a while to warm up but Fiji got their Rugby World Cup Sevens campaign off to a winning start against Japan on Saturday all the same, winning 35-10 after trailing at half-time.
Japan got the jump on the Olympic champions with the opening try before Semi Kunatani hit back to give Fiji a 7-5 lead, but the underdogs wouldn’t lie down and found the line again through Jose Seru to lead at the break.
The floodgates opened in the second half and tries to Jerry Tuwai, Josua Tuisova, Semi Radradra and Jasa Veremalua turned what was a willing contest into a rout. Fiji take on Argentina in a tough quarter-final clash.
Coach Gareth Baber was pleased with the start and said his focus is very much on the World Cup rather than atoning for his side’s slip-up in the final round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, where Fiji finished fifth to hand victory to South Africa.
New Zealand also flexed their muscles on the opening day, seeing off Russia 29-5 in the easiest of first-up victories.
USA breezed past Wales 35-0 thanks to a pair of tries to Perry Baker and singles to Martin Iosefo, Carlin Isles and Danny Barrett. The hosts will take on England on day two.
Scotland and France also won through to the Cup quarters, with the French upsetting Australia 22-17 in a ding-dong battle.
— Rugby World Cup Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) July 21, 2018
France take on New Zealand in the quarters, while World Series winners South Africa belted Ireland 45-7 and will play Scotland on day two.
The men’s draw got underway very much as expected, with the teams seeded 9 to 16 prevailing in their pre-round of 16 matches against the 17th to 24th seeds.
Hong Kong was a victim of the new knockout format, going down 21-7 to Russia, and they will play Jamaica in the Bowl quarter-finals on Sunday morning [Hong Kong time].
In the women’s competition, top seeds Australia and New Zealand coasted through their opening two matches, while France and the USA also made it through to the Cup semi-finals.
It was an up and down opening day for China, who were thumped 38-7 first up by the hosts before seeing off South Africa 29-5 to book a Challenge semi-final meeting with England.
Japan’s day was much the same – after losing 33-7 to France they bounced back to beat Brazil 19-14 and will take on Fiji in the Challenge semis.