IRB Sevens- Day 2 off to a flyer
In basking hot sun the pressure was well and truly applied as the business end of the Wellington 7s started. The quarterfinals add an edge that pool play simply doesn’t have. The thought in the teams mind that if they lose this game they are gone, just propels their will and out come the athletes.
This same pressure makes some wilt, some look like they are about to crumble but they come back from what seems like certain failure to a win, just as England did against Fiji. 7s makes for interesting viewing, time works in a funny way, it is either going real fast- or real sloooow. Fiji got off to a ripper start and romped to handy 2 tries to none lead near half time. England sucked in the oxygen, dug deep and bounced back in style. With planned moves, patience to make the clock go slow & tones of confidence they played their game, and in the end ran out winners 31-10.
Kenya also played the game well and had wisdom to know they always have time, they also know they have plenty of gas and can run and run and run till the cows come home. The crowd was again right behind them and they rode it all the way home to storm into the semi’s with a tight 10-7 win over Wales.
In the other match ups, Argentina kept their unbeaten tag with a convincing victory over the gutsy USA team. The game of the quarters though was the hosts NZ against South Africa. The African’s beat the Kiwis on their home turf a few weeks ago & today the NZ team delivered the same recipe, with a titanic 7-0 win.
The match was tense, the clock seemed so so slow as both of them sized each other up and played controlled rugby with presence of mind. Cracks appeared at times, but usually they were jammed shut with a thumping cover defence tackle.The game went on and the crowd warmed to the intensity and skill on show, it just kept coming and coming with both teams playing positively and superbly.
The clincher was a stunning run from Lote Raikabula, he took a pass on the angle and ran to the line with conviction. The crowd lifted and the decibels went through the Cake Tins roof as he surged forward. Again the clock went slow watching him, in his eyes he is focused on getting there, but he also has the ability to think and run, as the tackler comes in his arm is low and he swings it up to break the tackle. This action also gives him a slight push forward off the defender and this lift ends up being the difference as he crashed over for the winner. Raikabula sat for a moment and praised the Lord and the home crowd will all have sore throats from yelling themselves dry.