Rugby Rugby

All Blacks set up Blitzbokke 7s final


NEW-ZEALAND-CWGGLASGOW, July 27- Four-time champions New Zealand will play South Africa in the final of the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens at Ibrox Stadium on Sunday.

The all-conquering All Blacks beat Delhi silver medallists Australia 19-7 in the semi-finals, with the Springboks outpowering Samoa 35-7.

New Zealand, maintaining their unbeaten record in all Commonwealth Games, outscored the Wallabies three tries to one.

The Australians had been level at 7-7 at halftime after Sean McMahon’s converted try levelled out Tim Mikkelson’s early effort.

But a Scott Curry brace in the second half saw New Zealand move clear.

“We’re feeling pretty pleased,” said New Zealand captain DJ Forbes. “There was a little bit of banter in the changing room.

“We saw a couple of emails that Australia put out, saying that the aura of the black jersey had fallen away, so I guess we wanted to make our mark out there on the field. We stuck to our guns and we won convincingly.

“Our coach is renowned for changing it around and throwing in some surprises here and there. We’ve got some guys who are fresh so we’ll get that mix we need to do the job and push on to get that gold medal.”

Australia’s Greg Jeloudev denied there was a fear factor playing against New Zealand.

“No, there’s not. It’s seven versus seven,” he said. “The difference today is that in the contact area they were better in the breakdown and turned us over a few times. They held on to the ball better and that was the difference.”

Australia will play Samoa for the bronze medal after the South Sea islanders were handed a rare lesson in power play by South Africa, for whom full international Cornal Hendricks was outstanding.

Samoa opened the scoring through Samoa Toloa, but thereafter it was all South Africa, the ‘Boks notching up five tries through Hendricks (2), Chris Dry, Cecil Afrika and Werner Kok.

Branco du Preez (3) and Afrika (2) made no mistake with the extras to put Samoa well out of sight.