New Zealand returns to form in int'l rugby tournament quarter final

2013-02-02 04:21:28 GMT2013-02-02 12:21:28(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

WELLINGTON, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Reigning champions New Zealand returned to form on the second day of the international rugby sevens world series in Wellington Saturday, seeing off an Australian side that fell to pieces under pressure.

Australia had looked formidable after their clean sweep of the pool round on Friday, but the home team, who fell to England the day before, put on a performance to please the crowd with a 24-5 win.

Australia started quickly, but the first of their many fumbles saw a long pass intercepted by New Zealand's Gillies Kaka who ran in a try across almost the length of the pitch. Tomasi Cama converted.

A messy first half followed for Australia with Ben Adams sent to the sin bin in the seventh minute, leaving a hole for New Zealand's Ben Lam to put in another try, followed by another Cama conversion.

New Zealand's Sam Dickson chased down the ball after the second half kickoff to put the ball over the line again, but Cama's boot missed the posts.

Kaka's speed allowed him to dodge an ineffectual Australian defense for a fourth try in the fourth minute, but Cama missed the conversion again.

Substitute Tom Cusack finished off a hard battle to put Australia on the scoreboard in the eighth minute, but Lewis Holland failed to make the conversion.

The win sets New Zealand up for a third consecutive championship, although they still have a semi-final showdown with Kenya, who defeated South Africa in the quarter finals.

Australia goes on to face South Africa.

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