Published: Wed, April 17, 2019
Sports | By Juana Wells

Australia beaten at Singapore Sevens

Australia beaten at Singapore Sevens

Australia looked impressive in beating group rivals Argentina, France and Hong Kong but struggled for possession against the slick English.

The leading four teams at the end of the series will book a berth at next year's Games in Tokyo.

In doing so they stopped Fiji backing up its win in last week's Hong Kong sevens and becoming the first team to win the Singapore title in consecutive seasons.

South Africa staged an incredible comeback to beat Fiji 20-19 in the cup final and win the HSBC Singapore Sevens leg.

They haven't reached the semi-finals since the opening round in Dubai, having lost all five quarter-final appearances since.

Fiji, who are second in the Sevens Series standings with 123 points, seven behind leaders the United States, will be without star player Jerry Tuwai.

Australia went undefeated on day one but fell to England in a tough quarter final, 19-31.

A South African victory seemed impossible Sunday after a first half in which Fiji ran riot, exploiting handling errors and poor tackling to score three brilliant tries.

Aminiasi Tuimaba, Napolioni Bolaca and Vilimoni Botitu all found the tryline as Fiji flew into a seemingly unassailable 19-0 half-time lead in the Cup final.

Quick-fire tries from Kurt-Lee Arendse, Angelo Davids and Ryan Oosthuizen and a conversion from Selvyn Davids brought the Blitzboks to within two points of Fiji.

South Africa coach Neil Powell stirred up his young players during the halftime interval and they were a different team in the second half, eliminating errors and playing with much more focus.

Despite losing 17-7 to South Africa, Fiji progressed to the Cup quarter-finals by virtue of a superior points difference to Scotland (21 to -42). But a penalty for offside gave South Africa a last chance and Selvyn Davids slotted the winning penalty.

The Blitzboks took time to get going in the second half before staging their remarkable comeback. "They hung onto every word we said and started to believe it".

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