All Blacks Sevens lose thriller in Las Vegas semifinal

Author
Radio Sport, NZ Herald,
Section
Audio,
Publish Date
Monday, 4 March 2019, 6:45PM
Regan Ware in action during pool play. (Photo / Getty)

The USA is becoming a semifinal roadblock for the All Blacks Sevens this season.

New Zealand squandered an early lead to lose to hosts 24-19 at the Las Vegas Sevens this morning, the third time they've been defeated by the USA at the semifinal stage this season.

Sione Molia and Kurt Baker scored first half tries to put New Zealand 12-0 up as they dominated the opening five minutes of the semifinal.

However Clark Laidlaw's side trailed 14-12 at the break when Folau Niua and then Carlin Isles both scored late in the first half.

A second Isles try after halftime extend the USA's lead before New Zealand captain Tim Mikkelson levelled the scores at 19-19 with four minutes remaining following a classy lineout move.

The USA controlled possession for the closing stages as New Zealand were consistently penalised giving away territory. The hosts turned down two penalty chances in the final minute close to the posts before Isles completed a hat-trick after the hooter.

The victory will put USA at the top of the sevens series standings after sitting level with New Zealand going into the Las Vegas tournament.

The USA will face Samoa for the title after they thrashed Argentina 33-19 in the other semi final.

New Zealand will meet Argentina in the third and fourth place playoff.

 

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