Ireland shock South Africa in Rugby World Cup Sevens

·3 min read

Ireland stunned hosts South Africa with a convincing 24-14 win in the quarter-finals of the Rugby World Cup Sevens at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

"Beating South Africa on their home patch –- it does not get much bigger than this," said Irish captain Billy Dardis.

Ireland silenced a big home crowd with a solid performance against the Blitzboks.

"We said we wanted to kill the party a bit," Dardis told SuperSport TV.

Ireland took advantage of early South African errors to score first through Mark Roche, but Muller du Plessis scored  to put South Africa level at 7-7 at half-time.

Ireland took control after the break with tries by Harry McNulty and two by Jordan Conroy before Mfundo Ndhlovu scored a late try for the hosts.

Ireland will meet tournament favourites and title-holders New Zealand in the semi-finals on Sunday. New Zealand survived a tough quarter-final battle against Argentina, winning 12-5.

Rain made conditions tricky and Argentina were first to score through German Schulz.

But veteran forward Scott Curry scored a converted try for the All Blacks to give them a 7-5 half-time lead. A long-range solo try by Moses Leo in the second half settled the contest.

"As soon as the rain started coming down it got pretty slippery," Curry said.

New Zealand won the last two World Cups in 2013 and 2018 and came into Cape Town after winning the final event of the World Series in Los Angeles.

- Hard-fought Australian win -

On the other side of the draw, newly-crowned World Series champions Australia beat France 14-5 in a hard-fought match.

France had the better of the first half before Australia seized on a handling error for Henry Paterson to open the scoring after the half-time hooter.

Paulin Riva scored for France after the break before Maurice Longbottom crossed the line for Australia.

In the semi-finals, Australia will meet Fiji, who beat Samoa 21-10 with tries by Jerry Tuwai, Kaminieli Rasaku and Sevuloni Mocenacagi after Samoa had opened the scoring through Steve Onosai, who added a late consolation try.

New Zealand and Australia had convincing wins in the women's quarter-finals. New Zealand beat Ireland 28-0 and Australia defeated England 35-5.

Speedy Australian star Faith Nathan scored three tries to take her tournament tally to eight in two matches after touching down five times against Madagascar on Friday.

New Zealand will meet France in the women's semi-finals and Australia will be up against the United States.

France beat Fiji 19-14 with a try by Joanna Grisez after the final hooter, while the United States were 10-7 winners over Canada.

England, who were eliminated from the men's championship by Ireland on Friday, scored 71 unanswered points on Saturday to reach the challenge final.

They beat Chile 35-0 and Kenya 36-0 and will meet Uruguay in the final. Uruguay were surprise 21-19 winners against the United States in the Challenge semi-finals.