The All Blacks Sevens team have given themselves a great chance of winning the World Series tournament on home soil today by beating Ireland 10-5 in their quarter-final this afternoon.
Brady Rush scored the matchwinning try late in the match at Waikato Stadium when he sold a dummy and went over for the first points of the half.
New Zealand had had to hold on while Sam Collier was on the sideline for two minutes after being sinbinned but Ireland, who once again leaked too many penalties, failed to take advantage.
The Irish, who have never beaten New Zealand in sevens, were on the board after only one minute when Aaron O’Sullivan took advantage of a missed tackle to streak down the left sideline, but New Zealand battled back through skipper Sam Dickson.
They had far more attacking threats than the Irish but were frustrated by the opposition’s defensive efforts and their relief at the final whistle was clear to see.
They will play France in their semifinal this afternoon after the French began a run of quarter-final upsets by beating South Africa 22-17 in their quarter-final.
In perhaps a bigger shock, Argentina played superbly to beat Fiji 19-10, with USA beating Australia 28-14. It means should New Zealand beat France then they will face Argentina or the USA in the final.
The New Zealand women’s team are also safely into the semifinal stage after comfortably beating Japan 43-12 with Shiray Kaka scoring a hat-trick of tries. The Black Ferns sevens will play Ireland in their semifinal.
Japan’s two tries and conversion were the first points New Zealand have conceded over the past two days.