Outsiders Wales take World Sevens crown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Outsiders Wales take World Sevens crown

By Luke Phillips 08/03/2009 06:42:43 AM Comments (0)

Outsiders Wales ripped up the formbook to beat Argentina 19-12 and claim the Rugby World Cup Sevens title on Saturday.

The Welsh team, largely a second-tier team on the IRB World Sevens Series which has never before reached a final, showed great poise on the third day of competition, stunning New Zealand and Samoa in the quarter and semi-finals.

In the 20-minute final, Wales outscored the Pumas three tries to two, showing greater tactical nous and individual skill against a flagging Argentinian side.

Richie Pugh opened the scoring, the once-capped international flanker sprinting clear into the corner after a long pass from irrepressible sweeper Lee Williams.

Argentina hit back through Martin Rodriguez who latched on to a loose pass to scoot in for a try he converted from the touchline.

Williams was everywhere for the Welsh in defence, coming up with try-saving tackles on Lucas Amorosino and Santiago Cora.

It was, however, another of Wales' one-cap wonders who extended the Welsh lead, winger Tal Selley continuing his fine tournament form with a dummy, step and sharp acceleration for a 60-metre run-in.

Aled Thomas nailed the conversion to hand Wales a 12-7 half-time lead.

In a closely-fought second-half which unusually featured several instances of kicking ping-pong, Argentina were the first to score after almost six minutes of play through Gonzalo Camacho.

But Thomas had the last word, showing a fine turn of speed to skip out of desperate cover tackle and cross for the decisive try, which he also converted.

The knock-out stage of the competition had heralded a day of upsets at the Sevens Stadium.

Aside from Wales, Kenya sensationally beat defending champions Fiji in the quarter-finals but could not continue their giant-killing against the rugged Argentina side.

South Africa, currently joint leaders of the IRB World Series Sevens with England, exited in the quarter-finals at the hands of Argentina, winners of the most recent leg of the global circuit in San Diego last month.

England were beaten in sudden death by Samoa, a loss coach Ben Ryan admitted was a "pretty bitter pill to swallow".

Scotland trumped Australia 21-17 to win the Plate, while Zimbabwe made sure of some African silverware in beating Ireland 17-14 for the Bowl title.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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