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NZ down Australia in Sevens semi-final

05/02/2011 10:13:35 PM Comments (0)

New Zealand beat Australia 17-0 in the semi-finals of the Wellington sevens rugby tournament on Saturday to set up a final against England.

The English advanced after a nail-biting 7-5 win over Samoa.

New Zealand, second in the world series standings, dominated Australia from the outset and survived being reduced to six players in the second half.

A conversion was all that separated England from Samoa, the leading points scorer in international sevens, Ben Gollings, dinking over the extra points.

Australian coach Michael O'Connor said his side were simply beaten by the better team.

"We were very much outmuscled from the start against New Zealand in slippery, wet, windy conditions," he said.

"They got the jump on us right from the start but it's a good lesson for the boys.

"We will learn from it and be better in Vegas next weekend.

"We're there or there abouts, we've just got to keep improving."

Captain Bernard Foley said the tournament wasn't a total disappointment but urged the Australians to get better for next week's event in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"To make a Cup semi-final was great but we were a bit off and we have a long way to go," he said.

"New Zealand always give us a really tough game and they were really physical and dominated us from the start.

"We were expecting that but they did a really good job keeping us out of the game."

In the final, debutant Declan O'Donnell scored three tries as New Zealand came from behind to beat England 29-14.

England went ahead 7-0 in the second minute when Fiji-born British Army soldier Isoa Damu crossed, but New Zealand piled on the pressure to score five straight tries and clinch a comfortable win.

The tournament victory took New Zealand level with England on 64 points after three of eight rounds of the World Series. The next round is at Las Vegas on February 12 and 13.

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