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All Blacks Sevens beaten by Blitzboks

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 8/04/2017

New Zealand's title drought on the sevens world series will continue after losing their Hong Kong quarter-final 21-19 to South Africa.

The series-leading Blitzboks fought back from 12-7 down at halftime to remain on course for their fifth win in seven tournaments this season.

The All Blacks Sevens haven't won an event for more than a year but looked bound for the semi-finals on Sunday following first-half tries to Regan Ware and Sione Molia, the latter while South Africa's Dylan Sage was in the sin bin. Chris Dry had opened the scoring for the Blitzboks.

New Zealand struggled for possession throughout the second half, ceding tries to veterans Cecil Afrika and Werner Kok before Sam Dickson scored a consolation try after the hooter.

The All Blacks Sevens bounced back to beat England 21-7 in a classification game, boosted by a double from debutant Joe Ravouvou, who has stood out all week with his pace and power.

They were to meet Argentina in the play-off for fifth place.

South Africa clung on to beat the United States 29-24 in a semi-final which went to extra time.

Fiji beat Australia 33-12 in the other semi-final to set up a shot at winning a 17th Hong Kong title.

It has been another mixed bag for New Zealand, who were comfortable winners over Wales and Japan before losing a tense final pool game 17-14 to Fiji.

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