x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

How it happened: Day one Rugby World Cup Sevens

Read our reports of the first day of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Dubai as Fiji, England and New Zealand all record wins.

Aled Brew of Wales, right, tackles Ryan Manyika of Zimbabwe during their Dubai Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 match at The Sevens.
Aled Brew of Wales, right, tackles Ryan Manyika of Zimbabwe during their Dubai Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 match at The Sevens.

South Africa 26-5 Japan South Africa were the most impressive of the bigger teams as they crushed a spirited Japan side. Mpho Mbiyozo opened the scoring for the Springboks inside the first minute and they never let Japan into the match after that. Gio Aplon ran in a solo try to give South Africa a 14-0 cushion. However, they were reduced to six-men when Robert Ebersohn was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle on Takashi Suzuki. That did not stop their charge as Ryno Benjamin broke free down the left wing. He drew the defence in and passed inside to Frankie Horne to score in the corner for a 19-0 half-time lead. The Springboks fourth try took an age to arrive as Japan remained robust in defence. A penalty from five metres out was quickly taken and fed to Vuyo Zangqa to slice through the defence. Japan scored a consolation try as Alisi Tupuailei crashed over in the corner. Fiji 26-10 Georgia Fiji escaped a from a potential upset as Georgia more than matched one of the tournament favourites. It looked like a routine match for the Pacific Islanders when Neumi Nanuku broke free down the right wing to run in under the posts. Napolioni Nalaga's try was from close range off the back of a ruck which was only formed when it took three Georgian's to take down Aploosi Satala. But then they switched off. Merab Kvirkashvili scrambled into the corner as Georgia fought back into the game. Kvirkashvili then pulled the match to 12-10 after he chipped and chased and grounded over the Fijian line. Georgia should have led. They had all the possession and won a penalty on the Fijian line. The inexperienced side made a complete mess of it and that allowed Vilimoni to recover the loose ball and run in a try from 90 metres out, with the relief on his face clear for all the crowd to see. Georgia had chances to get back into the match but squandered them. On the break, Peni Rokoadiva made the scoreline slightly more favourable for Fiji, but they were at times, second best. New Zealand 42-0 Italy New Zealand were not spectacular but they were clinical as they notched up an impressive score against the Italians. Viliame Waqaseduadua opened the scoring for a rampant New Zealand side that never looked in danger of losing their opening pool match. Lote Raikabula barged his way through two Italy players for the All Blacks' second as the European's struggled throughout the first half to get out of their 22. Paul Grant was on the end of a fine passing move to run in the third try in the last play of the opening period. New Zealand continued to rack up the points in the second half. DJ Forbes ran in possibly the best try of the tournament so far with every pair of New Zealand hands involved in the move. Then Waqaseduadua scored his second try as a result of quite possibly the worst play of the tournament. The Italian player Kristopher Shaun Burton thought the best way to deal with the rush defence was to fly-hack the ball to a teammate in the goal area. He had no choice but to usher it out for a scrum restart. New Zealand won it and Waqaseduadua did the rest. Tiring, the Italian defence buckled with seconds to go as the All Blacks ran in their sixth and final try through Chad Tuoro. England 42 ? 5 Hong Kong England shook off a terrible first half to run out comfortable winners against Hong Kong. They started the match in the worst possible fashion. Hong Kong's Keith Robertson broke free from his own 22 leaving England's Kevin Barrett with no choice but to kill play by not releasing him when he tackled. He was sin-binned. England then messed up the resulting line-out deep in their 22 and Mark Goosen pounced on the loose ball to score. The Whites immediately hit back from the kick off. Tom Biggs scooped up the ball and ran through Hong Kong's non-existent defence. England had a chance to extend their 7-5 lead on the stroke of half-time when the ball was shipped out to Biggs on the wing, but he was bundled out in the corner by the covering Hong Kong defenders. The second half was a much better display for one of the tournament favourites. A line-out deep in their own 22 was secured and the ball was sprayed wide to Leicester's Tom Varndell. He ran around the defensive line to score under the posts. In the next move, a kick and chase by Barrett set up a simple run-in for Ben Gollings to score to secure the win for England. Gollings added a second try a minute later when he sidestepped two defenders. Josh Drauniniu scored immediately after a recovered restart for England's fifth try. Then after a Hong Kong attack, England recovered in the ruck and released Varndell to walk in his second try and the final scoring play of the match. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There is a 30 minute break now and then we will see the big sides in action. Dusk has set over The Sevens venue and the crowd wait in expectation of big scores and flowing rugby. It has been a great tournament so far, but we have not seen nothing yet as England, New Zealand, Fiji and South Africa prepare for their opening matches. Play to resume at 1945 (UAE). --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Argentina 19 ? 7 Uruguay Argentina win the battle of South America in a feisty encounter at The Sevens. Dino Tomas Cáceres, Gonzalo Camacho and Santiago Gomez Cora scored for the Pumas in the first half to race to a 19-0 lead. Ignacio Crosa pulled a try back just before half-time for Uruguay. The match was finely poised for the second half but neither team could breach the others' watertight defence. Samoa 35 ? 5 Ireland Rupena Levasa scores the first hat-trick of the tournament with Samoa crushing Ireland in style. Brian Tuohy had put the Irish ahead when he broke off a ruck to run in from 50 metres. The lead was short-lived as Levasa scored his first try immediately after. Then Lolo Lui scored under the posts to give the Samoans a 14-5 half-time lead. Simaika Mikaele scored the first try in the second half before Levasa showed his class to run in his hat-trick. Tonga 19 ? 0 Arabian Gulf It was a dreadful start to the campaign for the Arabian Gulf who crashed to a 19-0 defeat to Tonga. The first half saw Villiami Ma'afu score in the first minute for the Pacific Islanders. The Gulf enjoyed a lengthy spell of possession soon after but failed to make any breaks or seriously threaten the Tongans. A Stuart Gibb and David Clark switch-move that was fumbled was as close as they got to crossing the line. Vae T Poteki signed off the first half with a try to add to the Arabian Gulf's woes and frustrations. The second half was a tighter affair, with Tonga retaining possession more. Mateo Malupo crashed through under the posts early in the half to kill off any hopes of a revival from the Gulf. France 26 -17 USA France took an early lead against the US as Rida Jaouher finished under the posts after Farid Sid broke down the flank. The Eagles then took control of the half as Chris Wyles limbered into the corner after an exhausting 80m dash. Kevin Swiryn handed the States a half-time lead when he darted through the French cover. Les Bleus rallied and scored two converted tries through Laurent Ferreres and Julien Malzieu to take a 21-10 lead. The award for the best Platoon enactment of the day goes to Thomas Combezou. He was pushed in the face by James Gillenwater and went down like he had been hit with a sledgehammer. Gillenwater was sin-binned for his part in the incident, unfairly in the crowd's eyes, and France made their extra man tell with Vincent Deniau touching down. Takudzwa Ngwenya breezed through the France defence for a converted try, but it was too little too late. Scotland 14 -33 Canada The win was no surprise but the scoreline was a shock as Canada comprehensively defeated Scotland. James Pritchard, Adam Kleeburger and Neil Meechan scored a try a piece and with Ciaran Hearn scoring two for the Canadians as the Scots were left staring down the barrel of a gun with the score at 33-0. Scotland then found their stride and Colin Gregor ran in two tries under the posts to make the scoreline more respectable. Australia 26 ? 14 Portugal Portugal started on top against Australia, holding possession for the first few minutes of the half. That good work was squashed when Richard Kingi intercepted inside his own 22 and ran in from 80 metres to score under the posts to give Australia the lead. The Europeans continued to frustrate the Aussies and went into half-time just a score behind. Australia stepped up a gear in the second half as Kingi made a break into the Portuguese 22. After five phases the ball was shipped out to Henry Vanderglas, who beat his man into the corner. David Matues pulled a try back for Portugal to scare the Wallabies but Damon Murphy broke free from the halfway line to restore their cushion. Aderito Esteves scored under the posts for Portugal but again Australia immediately hit back as Brian Sefanaia scored on the full-time whistle. Kenya 29 ? 7 Tunisia Kenya dominated their all-African group match with Tunisia, scoring five tries and converting two. Sidney Ashioya opened his account with two tries with Humphrey Kayange also crossing the whitewash in the opening game on the main pitch. Wales 31 -5 Zimbabwe Wales dominated their opening match of the tournament with a routine win against Zimbabwe. Aled Brew scored two tries early in the first half and the men in red never really looked in trouble. Zimbabwe did pull the score back to 12-5 on the half-time whistle through Gerald Sibanda, but Craig Hill restored Wales's lead by rushing under the posts for a converted try after two minutes of the second half. Lee Williams added another try having rounded the Zimbabwean's to score in the corner. The try was not converted. The underdogs had a spell of pressure midway through the half but that was undone when they fumbled wide allowing Hill to move in for his second try. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello and welcome to The National's coverage of the first day of the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens. Today see's each of the men's teams play in their first pool match. There are 12 games in all and with our Live text You can follow all the action. It is a sunny day at The Sevens venue. Ex-rugby internationals Jonah Lomu and Lawrence Dallaglio are present to announce a proposal that will be excellent for rugby in the region. More details will follow later and in tomorrow's edition of The National. The crowd are dribbling into the main stadium of this impressive complex, the bars are starting to get some service and the burger vans are set to make a roaring trade. The favourite's England kick off their campaign at 19.30, followed by their main rivals New Zealand at 19.54. The Arabian Gulf face Tonga in their first match at 17.52. Play starts at 17.00 when Wales play Zimbabwe. See you then for what will be a nice starter to the three days of action from the best sevens specialists in the business. Do not miss it.