Ireland knocks out Argentina again in Singapore Sevens

SINGAPORE (AP) — Ireland beat Argentina 21-5 in a Singapore Sevens quarterfinal matchup of the world series' leading teams on Saturday.

The front-running Argentines have lost only two quarterfinals this season, and Ireland dumped them both times.

Ireland, which has never won the series, will have a chance on Sunday to overtake Argentina in the standings and lead going into the Madrid grand final this month.

Argentina scored first from nothing when Tobias Wade broke out of his own 22. But with seconds left in the half, Jordan Conroy collected Gavin Mullin's kickahead and they led 7-5.

The second half was all Ireland. A Connor O'Sullivan break gave Terry Kennedy a series-leading 31st try, and after Matteo Graziano was sin-binned for a deliberate knockdown, Billy Dardis scored from the resulting scrum.

Ireland will face Britain in the semifinals on Sunday after Britain thrashed France 35-7. Britain backed into the quarters by downing the United States 21-19, saved by Charlton Kerr tackling Perry Baker out the back of the in-goal.

Titleholder New Zealand and Australia will meet in the other semifinal. The Kiwis won their pool clash 26-10 on Saturday to stumble into the quarters.

The Irish scraped through as a third-placed pool team. They lost to Fiji 26-19 but Fiji had to win by eight points to advance at Ireland's expense. Fiji, a three-time champion, failed to reach the Singapore quarters for the first time.

South Africa was the only men's team to reach the quarterfinals unbeaten and was favored against Australia, which was depleted by two injuries and the departure home of James Turner to his wife went in labor.

But the Australians led 17-5 at halftime, which should have been more. Dietrich Roache had a try ruled out for double movement and a conversion hit the post.

A Roache try from a lineout steal put Australia 24-5 up with three minutes to go. But South Africa scored three tries in 2 1/2 minutes to force extra time. Deep in, Shilton van Wyk was yellow-carded for a high tackle on Roache and seconds later Nick Malouf's cutback and score gave Australia a 29-24 win.

New Zealand twice came from behind to edge the U.S. 19-14 on Tone Ng Shiu's late try.

The series-leading New Zealand women were on track to face second-placed Australia in the final.

The pair and third-placed France have rolled into the semifinals, where New Zealand has Fiji, and Australia will play France.


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