Spain beat Australia, Scots upend England to open HK 7s

April 6, 2018 GMT

HONG KONG (AP) — Fiji began its bid for a record fourth successive Hong Kong Sevens rugby title when it beat Pacific neighbor Samoa 31-12 on Friday.

Eroni Sau was in early, then offloaded with a little back flip to set up Kalione Nasoko, who in turn drew two defenders to send in Vatemo Ravouvou. Fiji went into halftime 17-0 up and was virtually out of sight.

New Zealand, Argentina, Kenya, and world series leader South Africa enjoyed big wins, too, but former champions Australia and England lost their opening pool games.

Spain bookended its match with Australia with tries to be 12-12 and in possession with time up. Four minutes after the hooter, after three rucks on the line were repelled by the Australians, they couldn’t stop big Ignacio Rodriguez-Guerra to win 17-12.

England rallied from 12-5 down at halftime and 17-12 down midway through the second half against Scotland. From a dropped ball by a Scot, England’s Callum Sirker ran solo to the posts for a converted try and 19-17 lead with 30 seconds to go.

But from the kickoff, the Scots worked upfield, moved England left and right, and replacement Ally Miller broke a tackle for the match-winning try out right for 22-19.

France was bullying the United States to lead 24-5 with terrific tackling behind the gainline.

But, in a flash, Perry Baker and Carlin Isles broke on the outside for tries for the Americans to trail by five with 22 seconds left. With time up, they received a penalty 30 meters out, then a Frenchman was yellow-carded and Isles scored in the left corner to tie the score 24-24. But with a conversion to win, Stephen Tomasin’s difficult chance was short and wide.