December 11, 2017
Fiji has bowed out of the main competition at the Cape Town 7s after losing 31-26 to South Africa in the first quarterfinal.
The Fijians started the match well and were awarded a penalty try in the opening minute after Jasa Veremalua was tackled high on his way to the try-line by Seabelo Senatla.
Senatla was also sinbinned for the offence and Fiji took advantage of an extra man on the field and scored its second try through Amenoni Nasilasila to take a 14-0 lead.
Werner Kok pulled one back for the hosts after outpacing two Fijian defenders but Josua Kurinaibili took advantage of some sloppy defending and raced away for Fiji’s third try.
Justin Geduld scored South Africa’s second try just before the break as Fiji led 21-12 at halftime.
Senatla scored the first try of the second half to narrow the scores to only 4 points but a beautiful individual effort from Kalione Nasoko further extended Fiji’s lead by 26-17.
Backed by a jam packed home crowd, South Africa applied pressure in the last two minutes and forced the Fijians to make untimely errors- taking full advantage of the mistakes and converting them into points.
Kwagga Smith and Senatla scored tries in the dying moments of the match to seal victory.
In other quarters, New Zealand overcame England 17-12, Canada thumped France 35-7 and Argentina defeated USA 28-12.
By Reginald Chandar