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Saturday, 3 August, 2002, 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK

Samoa shock Australia

By Charlie Henderson
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

Samoa stopped Australia's bid to win Commonwealth gold with a sensational performance in the quarter-finals of the sevens tournament.

Their 12-10 victory earned them a place in the last four alongside New Zealand, Fiji and South Africa.

Australia, having been 12 points down, drew to within two points only for Julian Huxley to drag a score-levelling conversion onto the upright with the last kick of the game.

South Africa also left it late against Canada with Jean de Villiers breaking the deadlock with a last-minute try to make it 17-12.

And in a classic set of matches Fiji and England were both in with a shout of winning in the final stages of their match before Fiji prevailed 7-5.

Only New Zealand enjoyed a comfortable passage, cruising past Wales 24-0.

Quarter-finals:


New Zealand 24-0 Wales

New Zealand continued their progress to the business end of the sevens competition with an assured, professional performance against Wales.

They took a stranglehold on the game with Bruce Reihana's early try and refused to loosen their grip.

"We didn't have enough possession or composure"
Matthew Robinson Wales

Wales were unable to penetrate the blanket of black defence and the pressure on their own rearguard soon told.

Mils Muliaina created space for himself before freeing Brad Fleming to give the defending champions a 14-0 lead at half-time.

After the re-start provider turned poacher as Muliaina broke from his own half, showing a clean pair of heels to Robert Howley, the pursuer in chief.

New Zealand's angles and pace left the Welsh defence clutching at thin air on numerous occasions.

And when Matthew Robinson did manage to hold onto Craig de Goldi on the line, Muliaina was on hand for his second.


Australia 10-12 Samoa

Samoa refused to be daunted by the prospect of facing an unbeaten Australian side and duly reaped their reward.

They took the attack to the Wallabies in the first half and then held on for victory in the second.

Semo Sititi opened the scoring midway through the first half, quick hands down the line sending him over in the right-hand corner.

"Samoa played very well and we just didn't execute"
Richard Graham

Samoa continued to press and were again rewarded, Fa'atonu Fili's half break and flicked pass out of the back of his hand releasing Gaolo Elisala for a score under the posts.

At 12-0 down, Australia regrouped but were unable to find a way through Samoa's hard-hitting defence, Brian Lima twice denying them with last-ditch tackles.

With the clock ticking down and Samoa closing in on victory, Richard Graham finally breached their defence.

And when Julian Huxley followed suit moments later it seemed certain that the match would go into extra-time.

But in the blink of an eye hero turned villain and Huxley, who never looked confident staring up at thhe posts, dragged his effort against the upright.


Fiji 7-5 England

Fiji came out on top in a bruising encounter that ended England's interest in the competition.

"They wanted to win more than us but we tried to play competitive rugby"
Wasaile Serevi Fiji captain

There were no try-scoring opportunities in a hard-hitting first half when play was concentrated in the middle third of the pitch.

It was not until midway through the second half that the deadlock was broken, England's Paul Sampson sliding over in the corner.

Ben Gollings missed with the conversion attempt from the touchline, but after weathering the initial storm it looked as if England would hold on for victory.

However, Phil Greening's loose lineout throw caused mayhem in England's midfield after missing his jumpers and Fiji pounced on the confusion.

Rupeni Caucaunibuca was the beneficiary and broke clear to score under the posts.

"One mistake cost us the game"
Joe Lydon,
England coach

Wasiale Serevi used all his experience in taking his time over the conversion, and was then in his element at with a cheeky grubber kick of a restart that saw Fiji maintain possession.

When England finally got their hands on the ball they had 30 seconds left on the clock and although they got close to scoring, they were never close enough.


Canada 12-17 South Africa

South Africa waited until the last minute before booking their place in the semi-finals.

A late try from wing Jean de Villiers broke the deadlock to give them a deserved victory.

"We knew it was going to be tough but we didn't play the way we wanted to"
Paul Treu
SA captain

The Springboks had looked in total control following first-half scores from the lively Fabian Juries and Luke Watson.

However, on the stroke of half-time Juries threw a floated pass deep in his own half that was picked off by Fred Asselin.

And South Africa suffered the same undoing after the interval when Nik Witkowski picked off George Muller's loose pass out of the tackle for another try.

With time running out it was left to de Villiers, running off Paul Treu's shoulder to seal the win and dash Canada's dreams.ock.


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