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By ARU Media Unit
Hosts Australia will take on Samoa in the Cup quarter-finals of the International Rugby Sevens Adelaide tomorrow after showing top form with wins over Tonga and USA on Saturday.
In front of a strong crowd at Adelaide Oval, Australia were gunning for a third straight win in the final match of the evening but saw a 14-12 second-half lead disappear as the flamboyant Fijians hit top gear and piled on two converted tries in three minutes.
Fiji finished top of Pool C with the 26-21 victory while perennial contenders New Zealand, Samoa and England also won through to the next round undefeated.
South Africa, who suffered their only loss of the day to Samoa, will take on Fiji on Sunday while Series leaders New Zealand will face Argentina and England will take on Wales.
Fox Sports 3 will show all the action from the finals LIVE from 1035am.
England star Nick Royle amassed an amazing eight tries to be the leading try-scorer at the event, while Hamish Angus leads the way for Australia with three.
Captain Bernard Foley said Australia will have to lift if they’re going to win silverware tomorrow.
“We had a great start with two wins over Tonga and the USA and it was a good chance tonight to see where we are at against Fiji, who are a very tough side,” Foley said.
“We’re going to need to lift our physicality and muscle up in defence against Samoa tomorrow and we’re going to have to match them at the breakdown if we’re going to win.
“It’s great to have the support of the home crowd and we want to go all the way tomorrow.”
Australia made an impressive start to their home event, piling on six tries to defeat Tonga 40-14.
Zack Holmes raced away to record Australia’s first try of the event just a minute into the match and it didn’t take long for Queensland Reds winger Kimami Sitauti to announce his return to the Adelaide Oval, scoring an impressive five-pointer 30 seconds later.
Skipper Bernard Foley continued his top form claiming a double while Tevita Kuridrani and Hamish Angus also scored tries.
In their second match of the day, the Australians were pushed hard by an tough USA team who scored first after halftime to be within reach of causing a massive upset at 14-10 down.
But a second try to Angus, who racked up 18 points for the match, and a late try to Ed Jenkins pushed the Aussies out to a 28-10 victory.
Adelaide is the sixth stop on the eight event HSBC Sevens World Series circuit and New Zealand are the current leaders with 110 points, just ahead of England (105) - Samoa and Fiji are tied on 84.
Fifth-placed South Africa (72) who defeated Australia in last Sunday’s Plate Final in Hong Kong hold a 26 point lead over Australia.
At last year’s event, Australia fell to eventual tournament and World Series champions Samoa in the Cup semi-finals 26-12, before Samoa defeated Cup-final debutants USA 38-10 to win the 2010 Adelaide Sevens.
Sunday QF fixtures:
NZ v Argentina
Samoa v Australia
Fiji v South Africa
England v Wales
Fiji 26 bt Australia 21 (Jacob Taylor, Greg Jeloudev, Zack Holmes tries, B Foley 3 cons)
England 21 bt Argentina 19
New Zealand 34 bt Kenya 14
Samoa 26 bt South Africa 17
USA 24 bt Tonga 12
Scotland 19 bt PNG 14
Wales 53 bt Cook Islands 0
France 40 bt Japan 7
Australia 28 (Angus 2, Brian Sefanaia, Ed Jenkins tries, Angus 4 cons) bt USA 10
Fiji 33 bt Tonga 14
Argentina 22 bt Scotland 7
England 45 bt PNG 12
Wales 26 bt Kenya 14
New Zealand 40 bt Cook Islands 7
Samoa 19 bt France 12
South Africa 21 bt Japan 12
Australia 40 (Bernard Foley 2, Zack Holmes, Hamish Angus, Kimami Sitauti, Tevita Kuridrani, Angus 5 cons) bt Tonga 14
Fiji 41 bt USA 5
Argentina 45 bt PNG 5
England 45 bt Scotland 7
Kenya 19 bt Cook Islands 12
New Zealand 36 bt Wales 10
Samoa 40 bt Japan 7
South Africa 19 bt France 0