- Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022 semi-finalists confirmed after dramatic second day in Cape Town, with the new world champions to be crowned on Sunday
- Women’s semi-finals line-up sees Australia take on the USA and New Zealand face France
- Men’s semi-finals are Fiji versus Australia and New Zealand against Ireland
- Vibrant ceremony celebrates diversity of South Africa and welcomes the world of rugby sevens to Cape Town Stadium
- Finals day kicks off at 08:30 local time (GMT+2) with the championship semi-finals starting at 12:07, the women’s final at 20:17 is followed by the men’s final at 20:54, watch here
Final Matches on Sunday for Asian teams, all timing (GMT+2)
South Korea 🇰🇷 vs Portugal 🇵🇹
21-22 place ranking at 8:52AM
Hong Kong 🇭🇰 vs Tonga 🇹🇴
19-20 place ranking at 9:14AM
China 🇨🇳 vs South Africa 🇿🇦
13-14 playoff at 14:37
Japan 🇯🇵 vs Poland 🇵🇱
Challenge Final at 15:21
There was sensational rugby sevens, a vibrant welcome ceremony, high drama and heartbreak on day two at Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022, which ended with four men’s and women’s teams remaining in with a chance of being crowned world champions on Sunday in Cape Town.
The innovative ‘winner takes all’ knock-out competition format means every match counts and Saturday’s quarter-finals were played with passion and determination as teams chased a place in Sunday’s semi-finals.
The women’s semi-final line-up sees Australia take on the USA and New Zealand face France. In the men’s semi-finals Fiji will meet Australia and New Zealand play against Ireland, conquerors of hosts South Africa on day two.
In Saturday evening’s quarter-finals, women’s HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 winners Australia were too strong for England, scoring five tries including a hattrick from Faith Nathan to run out 35-5 winners.
Australia co-captain Charlotte Caslick said: “It was awesome. Our whole campaign at the moment is about being switched on from that first kick-off, so we really brought it from that first moment which was awesome. It was really great to play in front of that crowd, they were incredible.”
Reigning women’s Olympic and world champions New Zealand also produced a dominant display to beat Ireland 28-0 with tries from Shiray Kaka, Portia Woodman, Niall Williams and Alena Saili.
France were runners-up at the last Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco four years ago and remain on track in Cape Town after beating Fiji 19-14 with a try from Joanna Grisez sealing the win with the clock in the red.
France captain Jude Ulutule said: “Just amazing! We’ve got a young squad, but we believe in what we can do. We just focus on what we want to do and where we want to go. So I’m just so proud of the team and all the girls here because we worked hard all year.”
In the fourth women’s quarter-final USA squeezed past neighbours Canada, coming through 10-7 in a tight contest thanks to a match-winning score from social-media star Ilona Maher, which added to an earlier try from Jaz Gray.
USA captain Lauren Doyle said: “I’m so proud of the girls, that was a true test of our grit and how much we had each other’s backs. I’m just very proud of us.”
There were hard fought battles in the men’s quarter-finals as current world champions New Zealand edged past Argentina 12-5 thanks to tries from Scott Curry and Moses Leo.
New Zealand co-captain Sione Molia said: “It was tough, we knew that Argentina were going to come out firing, they’re a really passionate team. We knew we would have to be clinical, we made it hard for ourselves making silly errors but just happy to get the win.
“For us, we just take it game by game and every World Cup is a different World Cup for us and like every pinnacle, we’re just going out there to win.”
In the second men’s quarter-final Australia – fresh from being crowned HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2022 winners – overcame France 14-5 courtesy of tries from Henry Paterson and Maurice Longbottom.
Australian try-scorer Paterson said: “It was a real tight battle in that first half. It doesn’t get too much tougher than that, we finished a fair while ago and I’m still out of breath! It was a defence heavy game against a big physical team like the French, it’s going to take it out of you. So, it’s a massive achievement to come away with that win and we’re stoked.
“We’re full of confidence. We’ve got a healthy squad, we’ve got the momentum and we feel like we’ve got the style to beat any team on our day. So, heading into tomorrow just backing what we’ve done so far and the sky’s the limit.”
Men’s Olympic champions Fiji won the battle of the Pacific Island nations, overcoming Samoa 21-10 with tries from Jerry Tuwai, Sevuloni Mocenacagi and Kaminieli Rasaku.
Fiji’s double Olympic gold medallist Tuwai said: “Samoa is always a hard team to beat, they’ve been playing really well this year. We gave everything in that game. It’s different from the Cape Town sevens we know. We just adapt and we work hard as it’s slippery and we try to connect in defence, and I think that’s what helped us in that game.”
In the last match of the day, hosts and top seeds South Africa were left heartbroken by defeat to an inspired Ireland, who claimed a 24-12 victory to silence the home crowd and secure their place in the semi-finals. The dancing feet of Jordan Conroy crossed the try line twice for Ireland alongside scored from Harry Mcnulty and Mark Roche.
Ireland try-scorer Roche said: “My first World Cup, it’s unbelievable. I’m over the moon, I don’t have words for it. We said it before the game in the changing room that we were going to win, but in a confident way. We felt the energy all week, from LA as well and we were just building for it. This group has been really, really special and we’ve got great things ahead and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
There were big celebrations earlier in the day as Uruguay’s men impressively toppled the USA to reach the Challenge final, while Poland earned their first-ever RWC Sevens victory in the women’s Challenge quarter-finals, before backing it up with a second victory against Spain.
All competing nations in the 24 team men’s tournament and 16 team women’s competition were in action on Saturday as the challenge and bowl competitions continued and the final placings will be decided on Sunday as teams strive to achieve their best possible result at this pinnace event.
Finals day kicks off at 08:30 local time (GMT+2) with the championship semi-finals beginning at 12:07. The women’s final is scheduled for 20:17, followed by the men’s final at 20:54, which brings down the curtain on Rugby World Cup Sevens 2022.
Alongside the superb showcase of rugby sevens, the noisy and colourful crowd of 40,000 fans inside Cape Town Stadium were treated to a welcome ceremony that began with a parade of the 40 competing teams, followed by a vibrant music and dance show which celebrated South Africa’s rich diversity and culture, and welcomed the world to Cape Town.
Rugby sevens fans around the world can watch the action via live stream on www.rwcsevens.com in countries where there is no national broadcaster covering the event.