Golden Goose might
Public Group 5 months, 1 week ago
Fiji triumphs as Aussies crash on Gold Coast
Fiji defended its Gold Coast Sevens title with a 32-14 win over New Zealand, while Australia departed Robina empty-handed.
The host nation went through its pool play undefeated on Saturday but came unstuck in the Cup quarter-final via a 21-14 loss to Kenya.
The defeat saw Australia demoted to the Plate competition, effectively the consolation prize for the beaten Cup quarter-finalists.
But the hosts exited in the Plate semi-finals following a 17-14 loss to Argentina, which clinched victory with less than 30 seconds on the clock when Santiago Cordero scored a runaway 80-metre try.
The Australians could be forgiven for wondering “what Golden Goose might have been” after seeing Fiji advance to the final.
Australia had defeated Fiji 15-14 on Saturday night to top Pool B but the Pacific islanders showed they can play clutch Sevens by progressing through the knock-out stages with the scalps of Samoa (19-7) and South Africa (21-10) en route to the tournament decider.
Amid light drizzle, Fiji started what was a replay of last year’s final in positive fashion by forcing a scrum five metres out from New Zealand’s goal line inside the opening minute of play.
The excursion deep inside New Zealand territory eventually saw Fiji cross out on the right flank through Ratu Raitini to establish a 5-0 lead.
New Zealand, however, showed why it has won 10 of the 13 Seven World Series contested by immediately striking back with a converted try to Tom Mikkleson to move ahead 7-5.
Another entry into Fiji’s 22 handed New Zealand an excellent scoring chance but a turnover of possession gave their opponents the opportunity they needed.
Fiji swiftly moved itself down into New Zealand’s red zone, allowing Levani Botia to post a converted try before it rounded out the half with another five-pointer to Raitini in the right corner.
The conversion attempt from out wide was missed, leaving the score at 17-7 in favour of Fiji at the break.
Raitini added a third try to his tally in the opening minute of the second term, a blistering run from inside Fiji’s 22 helping to extend the margin on the scoreboard to 15 points.
A fifth try, scored by Joji Raqamate, sealed the victory, and a sixth registered by Ilai Tinai simply added the icing to the cake.
The two tries were interrupted by New Zealand crossing the stripe through Kylem O’Donnell with Jamie Verran converting, although this simply served to add respect to the scoreline.
In the other finals, Scotland collected the Shield with a 40-5 rout of United States, Spain upset England 19-14 in extra time to win the Bowl and Argentina claimed the Plate by beating France 14-7.
South Africa, beaten by Fiji in the semi-finals, gained some consolation by defeating Kenya 41-7 in the play-off for third.Local hopes dashed Photo: Bundled out … Australia’s Jordan Tuapou is swamped by the Kenyan defence in his side’s 21-14 quarter-final loss. (Mark Kolbe: Getty Images)
Australia entered day two in a buoyant mood, courtesy of its unbeaten record.
It seemed the Cup quarter-final was going according to script when Matt Lucas darted over to score under the posts and convert to set up an early 7-0 lead.
Australia, though, was becoming its own worst enemy via several turnovers of possession inside the Kenyan half.
Kenya needed no invitation to capitalise on Australia’s mistakes and it levelled the score at 7-7 when Oscar Ouma finished off a 90-metre movement to score and Willy Ambaka added the extras.
The score remained deadlocked heading into the second term before Australia edged in front again with Pama Fou exploiting a lack of numbers in the Kenyan defensive line.
With Lucas’ conversion Australia led 14-7 but again Kenya struck back Collins Injera touching and Ambaka slotting the conversion with less than three minutes on the clock.
It appeared the match was headed to extra time https://www.goldengooseshoesit.com/ until Kenya produced a multi-phase effort that saw Dennis Ombachi score the winning try after the full-time siren.
A deflated Australian outfit reappeared later in the afternoon for their Plate semi-final against Argentina, before again being consigned to a loss at the death.
The next leg of the World Series takes place in Dubai on November 30 and December 1.