Updated: 7:30pm AED
New Zealand became the first team through to the men’s World Cup 9s final after cruising to a 22-6 win against England.
Shaun Johnson was largely to thank for the Kiwis’ fast start. He firstly produced a try-saver on Jermaine McGillvary that jolted the ball loose, allowing Ken Maumalo to scoot away for the opening points.
Next, the mercurial playmaker perfectly summed up a blindside overlap to put Jamayne Isaako over in the corner for a 10-nil lead at the break.
Reimis Smith drove a dagger into England’s hearts with a try to start the second stanza before McGillvary latched onto a cross-field kick to get his side on the board.
There was no big fightback, however, as Isaako crossed for his sixth try of the tournament to ensure the Kiwis progressed to the decider.
A sensational team try finished off by Kanyon Paul was the highlight of the Kiwi Ferns’ 33-4 win over England which locked up a berth in the final against Australia.
All the Kiwi Ferns’ big guns got their hands on the ball before Paul plunged over in the bonus zone to put New Zealand on a collision course with their arch rivals in the women’s decider.
Krystal Rota opened the scoring for the Kiwis before England hit back through Amy Hardcastle but it was all New Zealand from there.
After leading 19-4 at the break the Kiwis stretched their advantage early in the second when Rota crossed wide out for her double.
Hireme then crossed for her second try to join Jillaroo Tiana Penitani as the tournament’s leading try-scorer with four.
New Zealand have tuned up for the World Cup 9s semi-finals with a runaway 46-0 win over the USA at Bankwest Stadium.
With playmaking maestro Shaun Johnson calling the shots the Kiwis ran in four first-half tries to blow the Hawks off the park.
Warriors winger Ken Maumalo got the scoring underway when he scored try off a lovely Kodi Nikorima pass and then it was Johnson’s turn to cross the stripe when he dazzled the defence to score in the bonus zone.
Jamayne Isaako and Bailey Simonsson rounded out the scoring in the opening nine minutes as the Kiwis led 19-0 at the break.
There was a slight scare for the Kiwis when Johnson limped off early in the second half but he is expected to be fine for the semi-finals.
Even with Johnson off the field the continued to flow as Maumalo bagged four tries and New Zealand’s offloads proved too much for the USA.
Canberra’s Bailey Simonsson scored the match-winning try for New Zealand in a nail-biting affair against a resurgent Papua New Guinea side.
Kiwis half Shaun Johnson made his presence felt early. He put Jamayne Isaako into the clear and then backed up the Broncos winger to take the pass back inside. Johnson then danced around Kumul defenders to ground the ball beneath the posts for a five-point try.
The Kumuls had two tries disallowed in either corner for putting a foot into touch. But their first points came off the long arm of Edene Gebbie, reaching over into the black box as PNG responded with their own five-pointer to lock up scores 7-7 at half-time.
Then lead changed four times in seven minutes in the second half.
PNG edged ahead ahead through Edwin Ipape sending a flick pass to teammate Nixon Putt to score. But the Kiwis grabbed the lead back (14-13) with their second five-pointer, through Jeremy Sharshall-King this time. The Kumuls weren’t done with Storm’s Justin Olam scoring, but Simonsson gave the Kiwis the last laugh.
The Kiwi Ferns bounced back from the 22-8 loss to Australia on Friday night with a five-tries-to-two win over the PNG Orchids on a sunny Saturday morning to stay in the hunt for Saturday night’s final.
A brace to winger Kiana Takairangi set up New Zealand’s 14-6 half-time lead. She beat the Orchids for pace in her first and then benefitted from a weaving Nita Maynard run for her second.
PNG’s Ua Ravu scored her second try of the tournament by running around Ferns centre Honey Hireme-Smiler but then the New Zealander made up for the error scoring a double herself either side of the break.
Australia opened their World Cup 9s in scintillating fashion with Josh Addo-Carr running free and David Fifita running rampant in a 25-12 win over New Zealand.
It took Addo-Carr less than a minute to open his tryscoring account when he cashed in on Wade Graham’s skilful lead-up work.
The Storm flyer made it two soon after and again Graham was the provider, this time with a perfectly weighted kick for ‘The Fox’ to chase.
New Zealand hit back when Jamayne Isaako latched onto a long ball from Shaun Johnson to score but the home side was in again when Fifita and Ryan Papenhuyzen combined to put Kyle Feldt over.
Rampaging Bronco Fifita then powered across for a four-pointer of his own to put the result beyond doubt but Johnson had some more magic up his sleeve to send Isaako across for a second try.
Fifita then capped a stunning night when he showed off all his athleticism to cross wideout.
The instructions from Jillaroos coach Brad Donald were to start fast and Australian co-captain Ali Brigginshaw obliged by setting up the first two Jillaroos tries before scoring one of her own.
A chip-chase paid off for the Broncos half as she scored a five-point try under the Bankwest Stadium goal posts. It blew the score out to 22-0 and despite two comeback tries by the Ferns through speedster wingers Atawhai Tupaea and Jules Newman, Australia enjoyed a comfortable 22-8 win.
“They came out firing and we couldn’t keep up. We were definitely behind the eight-ball at the start and gave them too much possession. We ended up chasing our tails all day,” Ferns utility Nita Maynard.