After a riveting opening day, the second and final day of the 2022 HSBC Los Angeles Sevens has wrapped up in even better fashion.
Wales upset potential champion South Africa and bumped it down to the 13th-place placement game, Samoa eliminated third-place and potential champion Argentina in the quarterfinals and New Zealand came back to beat Samoa in the very last second of the cup semifinals.
In the end, New Zealand beat Fiji to win the cup final, while the series title went to Australia based on the series standings.
With the action complete, let’s recap the top five plays from Day 2:
Scotland’s Robbie Fergusson displays elite footwork in try vs. Spain
Opting for a kick to get past the defense instead of passing to a teammate is always risky – the ball may not bounce in your favor. Well, unless you’re Robbie Fergusson of the Scottish rugby union squad.
Against Spain in the ninth-place quarterfinal, Fergusson nailed not one but two kicks to go his way en route to Scotland’s try of the contest. The Thistles would go on to win 28-7.
Samoa’s Vaa Apelu Maliko activates turbo mode vs. Argentina
Maliko made Day 1’s list and returned after Samoa’s impressive tournament. Its highlight win was eliminating third-place Argentina in the quarterfinals, as aforementioned, and Maliko’s elite burst has the ability to turn any game on its head.
Watch Maliko giddy up and follow it up with a burst past the Argentine defenders to find the try zone. Maliko finished the two-day tournament tied at first for the most tries scored (6).
Samoa’s Paul Scanlan scores game-winning try vs. Argentina
In the same game, which was one of the most entertaining from the two-day competition, Paul Scanlan managed to split the Argentine defense and had a clear path to the try zone to eliminate Los Pumas.
In the possession right before this, Argentina had the ball in the try zone but the Samoan team made a gang tackle to prevent the Pumas from touching the ball on the grass, so the try did not count. How about that for a finish?
Fiji’s Joseva Talacolo soars for a try on restart kick vs. USA
USA suffered elimination in the quarterfinals at the hands of Fiji – but more so the hands of Joseva Talacolo, who had two tries that made Fiji’s lead 21-0 at one point in the first half.
On the restart kick after Fiji’s opening score, Talacolo soared over three Eagles’ defenders to extend the Flying Fijians’ lead – no pun intended on both of those. Talacolo ended the tournament tied for second in tries scored with five.
Sione Molia books New Zealand’s place in the cup final
In the second of two cup semifinals, New Zealand found itself trailing Samoa 19-7 at halftime and 26-14 with very little time in the second half – then the comeback started.
Kurt Baker cut the deficit to 26-21 with two minutes to play, making it a one-try game with the clock ticking. All Samoa needed to do was retain possession and kick the ball out of bounds since the game clock had hit all zeroes, but Sione Molia had different ideas. He split two Samoans after threatening to pass out to the wingers on the right flank and walked into the try zone – pure heartbreak for Samoa.