Argentina shatters Fiji's final hopes

February 27, 2023 11:42 am

[File World Rugby]

Fiji’s Los Angeles 7s title hopes has been dashed losing to Argentina 20-17 in the first semi-final.

This is the second time Fiji is denied in the semi-final, losing to South Africa in  Sydney.

It is also the fifth tournament this season that Fiji has failed to reach the final.

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Argentina had an explosive start winning the restart and they did what they have been doing all tournament, spreading the ball fast, running hard lines and changing direction.

Rodrigo Isgro than used his size to tower through, dragging three Fijian defenders over the try-line

Fiji struck back from the restart, they recycled quickly with Ponipate Loganimasi slicing through for their first try.

Daugunu earned a penalty for Fiji 20 meters out from the Pumas try-line and although the scrum was messy they managed to get it across to Iowane Teba who scored his 8th try in LA.

Possession was gold for both teams and Argentina made sure they made it count, winning three brilliant restarts and maintaining the ball with quick passes and were fast at the breakdown.

This saw them produce two tries to Luciano Gonzalez and Marcos Moneta as they led 15-12 at halftime.

Trouble cane calling for Fiji seconds in the second spell when Waisea Nacuqu sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on.

But hope wasn’t lost as after a few scrappy play, they managed to find a loophole and former Ratu Kadavulevu School student Josese Batirerega ran through for a crucial try.

They led 17-15 with less than four minutes to play.

It could have ben anybody’s game with only a two point difference and luck wasn’t on Fiji’s side as they were penalized three times.

Argentina with possession used the opportunity to reclaim the lead through a Santiago Alvarez try which was enough to send them to the final.