Commonwealth Games

Blitzbokke beaten in Delhi

2010-10-12 11:46
Paul Treu (File)
New Delhi - New Zealand outmuscled England to cruise into the final of the Sevens against Australia at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday, with the Kiwis in sight of a record fourth consecutive gold.

No team has come close to challenging the brute force and pace of the New Zealand team, which features a handful of All Blacks, and England were the latest to be found wanting in a resounding 33-12 outcome.

The Kiwis were strongest in contact areas and had pace to burn outside, with captain DJ Forbes scoring twice and the impressive Tomasi Cama registering a double, including a solo effort that saw him chip the England defence.

"I think we came in with a game plan and we've stuck to it, being strong at the contact and then using the opportunities out wide," Cama told reporters when asked about his team's secret.

In the other semi-final, Australia beat an inexperienced South African side 17-7 thanks to tries from Wallabies flyer Lachlan Turner, captain James Stannard and Liam Gill.

"That's history for us," said Turner as he left the field having helped Australia to their first Commonwealth Games final. "No Aussie team has ever done this."

He warned that the team would need to be able to match the tackling and rucking power of New Zealand in the final later on Tuesday.

"I saw what they did to England and they look impressive. They look very physical. We've really got to the get the breakdown and hit them hard.

"If we don't turn up, they'll flog us."

England and South Africa will now face off in a fight for the bronze medal.

England coach Ben Ryan said his team was shell-shocked by the crushing defeat, but would look to make a spirited performance in the fight for bronze.

"They look like they've been told some very bad news," he said of the dressing room. "We want to win a medal though. We've got to get off the floor and work hard."

Wales, Kenya, Samoa and Scotland all bowed out at the quarter final stage of the tournament under blue skies at the newly built 10 000-capacity stadium at Delhi University.

Welshman Richie Pugh, who helped his side win the sevens World Cup in 2009, was full of praise for New Zealand after his team went down 31-10.

"When you come across a team like New Zealand you know they are going to run you off the park," he said. "We were there for the first eight minutes, but second half they just pulled away."

"They're strong but I still think they're beatable."

New Zealand are in search of a record-making fourth consecutive gold medal having won every Commonwealth Games competition since the sport was introduced in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur.

Their path has been eased by the absence of twice silver medallists Fiji, who are banned from taking part after being suspended from the Commonwealth in 2006 after a military coup.

Rugby tickets have been sold out for weeks, but the crowd was again thin on Tuesday despite the array of top-class athletes on display. Stands were at best a third full, a slight improvement on Monday.

Poor crowds have been a theme of the Delhi Games, which have been dogged by accidents and organisational problems blamed on the rushed preparations for the event because of construction delays.

Read more on:    commonwealth games

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