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Spain reaches first semis in sevens world series after overhauling Fiji in LA

CARSON, California (AP) — Spain reached its first semifinals in the rugby sevens world series as part of an all-European men’s last four at the Los Angeles tournament on Saturday.

Spain stunned Fiji 21-19 from 19-0 down at halftime of their quarterfinal. Fiji was undermined by two cards.

The Spaniards had lost all 11 of their previous quarterfinals in series history. They also shocked Ireland in the pool stage.

Ireland upset series leader Argentina 24-14 to face France in the semifinals, and Britain topped Australia 26-19 to line up Spain.

Fiji was in control against Spain until Terio Tamani was red-carded for a tip tackle and Pilipo Bukayaro received yellow for a high tackle. Two Pol Pla tries helped Spain make history.

Argentina, the champion of the last three legs, swept its pool and led Ireland 14-5 at halftime of their quarterfinal. But yellow cards for Rodrigo Isgro and Matias Osadczuk gave Ireland a foothold and Jordan Conroy’s second try capped the win.

France knocked out the host United States 14-0 despite playing most of the game a man down. Antoine Dupont scored a solo try to get France off the mark. Despite having Theo Forner in the sin-bin, Andy Timo bagged the second try for France’s 14-0 halftime lead.

Forner’s second yellow at the start of the new half earned him a red but France held out the Americans.

Australia rallied to level with Britain at 19-19 but, with the clock in red, Femi Sofolarin swept around the defense to send Britain through.

The women’s quarterfinals are on Sunday: France vs. Canada, New Zealand vs. Ireland, U.S. vs. South Africa, Australia vs. Brazil.

New Zealand’s Tyla King passed Canadian Ghislaine Landry’s 1,356 points to become the all-time leading scorer in the women’s series; Australia’s Maddison Levi scored two hat tricks in two games; and South Africa surprised Fiji 19-7 to make the quarters for the first time this season.


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