Australia’s Maurice Longbottom scores a try at the Cape Town Stadium.
Australia’s Maurice Longbottom scores a try at the Cape Town Stadium.

Perfect Aussies set up sevens showdown with New Zealand

AUSTRALIA have beaten Wales at the death to win all three of their pool stage matches and book a quarter-final showdown with New Zealand at the Cape Town World Rugby Sevens.

Maurice Longbottom went over Wales' tryline in the final seconds to seal a 21-14 win and complete a cleansweep of their Pool D opponents on Saturday.

Longbottom also grabbed two tries on either side of teammate Jesse Parahi's try in Australia's earlier 26-14 over Scotland.

An inspired John Porch bagged a hat-trick in the team's 29-15 win over Canada.

Australia will play New Zealand on Sunday night (8.45pm AEST), with the quarter-final to be broadcast live on Fox Sports.

"Pool D was always going to be a challenging pool and today didn't disappoint with three very tough matches," Australia coach Tim Walsh said.

"Across the squad we worked hard in those games and concentrated on winning the moments we had to in order to get the results.

"The hard work kicks off tomorrow in what will be a difficult quarter-final.

"We'll rest, recover and make sure we're prepared for what day two throws at us."

Maurice Longbottom will also return for the Aussies.
Maurice Longbottom will also return for the Aussies.

New Zealand also left it late to make the final eight, scoring in the left corner more than a minute after the full-time whistle to beat hosts South Africa 26-21.

The early series leaders were in danger of missing the quarter-finals for the first time ever before a thrilling finish to pool play on the first day.

Needing a win, New Zealand trailed 21-14 with time almost up but Sione Molia scored his second try in the last minute and Andrew Knewstubb hurriedly kicked a conversion with just a second on the clock to level - and force the game to restart.

The New Zealanders retrieved possession from the kickoff and swept forward, with Vilimoni Koroi finishing the final move out on the left wing to keep New Zealand, the defending Cape Town champion, alive at the tournament.

South Africa qualified as group winner after victories over Samoa and Zimbabwe, and New Zealand went through at the expense of Samoa.

The United States and Fiji topped the other groups, winning all three of their pool games.

Fiji were impressive to beat France 50-0, Kenya 38-7 and England 21-19.

The US opened with a 54-0 rout of Japan and also beat Spain and Argentina.

In Sunday's other quarter-finals South Africa face Scotland, Fiji take on Spain and the US will play England.

New Zealand won the rugby sevens season opener in Dubai, beating the US in the final.

England and Australia are third and fourth, respectively.

South Africa, the defending series champion, finished sixth in Dubai.

News Corp Australia

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