METUISELA Talebula was the hero as Fiji marched into the semi-final of the Glasgow Sevens late last night.
He scored a try, kicked four conversions and slotted home two drop goals for a personal haul of 19 points as they thumped Samoa 34-10. Fiji's other try scorers were Isake Katonibau, Waisea Nayacalevu and Joeli Lutumailagi. The Samoans were ripped apart in the second half.
In the first half, Fiji trailed 7-10 despite scoring first through Talebula following a counter-attack. Samoa hit back with two unconverted tries to Afa Aiono and Lolo Lui. Fiji was to play England in the first cup semi-final after the Poms beat South Africa 19-14.
The other two quarter-finals were in progress when this edition went to press.
The semi-finals and final were scheduled for early this morning.
Fiji cruised into the quarter-final after finishing top in their pool with playmaker Talebula leading the tournament point scorers tally.
The Setefano Cakau-skippered side made a good start to their campaign thrashing Zimbabwe 40-0 in their opening pool match. Talebula starred in the opener after grabbing a hat-trick of tries and kicked five conversions. The other tries in that match was scored by Joeli Lutumailagi, Waisea Nayacalevu and Joji Ragamate.
In the second pool match, the Fijians were unable to repeat their earlier performance but managed to beat Portugal 28-5.
Talebula was once again the hero for the side after he scored a try and kicked four conversions to increase his tournament points tally. Cakau, Ragamate and Isikeli Vuruna scored a try each. The Alifereti Dere-coached side ended their day one campaign the way they started after dumping Argentina 47-7.
Cakau and Lutumailagi got a brace of tries each with tries from Nayacalevu, Talebula and Ragamate contributed to the rout over Argentina. Meanwhile, former Fiji 7s rep Nemani Nagusa has signed with the New Zealand-based third division club, Border.
The robust loose forward signed the deal with the club more than a week ago and joined the club on Thursday last week.
According to a report on the Wanganui Chronicle, Nagusa impressed the club with his performance in the 2011/12 International Rugby Board (IRB) HSBC Sevens World Series. "Nagusa's attacking form featured in the Las Vegas tournament. He also played in the Wellington Sevens," the report said.
"Nagusa signed with the Border Club last week. On arrival at Wanganui Airport yesterday (on Thursday), Nagusa said he was primed and ready for training.
"Earlier in the year, the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) cleared Nagusa to play in Wanganui until the end of October.
The former Nadroga player opted out of the Fiji 7s side for the last leg in Scotland and London citing personal commitment.
Nagusa told the FRU that he cannot play for the team due to fatigue and wanted to take a break to recover from the Asian leg of the series.
The 23-year-old powerhouse started his rugby in Nadroga, playing for the age group side through to the senior team.
Alongside playing for the Border club, Nagusa will work for the Waverley Sawmills.
"His contract to come to New Zealand was arranged through Inside Running Recruitment," the Wanganui Chronicle reports.
Other Pacific Islanders that have featured for the Wanganui representative teams in the last decade include the likes of Joeli Kotobalavu (2010, 5 games), Lasa Ulukuta (2009-10, 10 games), Ron Katonivere (2007-08, 16 games), Nemia Adrole (2003-09, 39 games) and Sosaia Tapa (2005, 7).
Day one results: AUSTRALIA 14 - 19 ENGLAND; WALES 17 - 5 SOUTH AFRICA; ARGENTINA 7 - 47 FIJI ; UNITED STATES 29 - 14 KENYA; SCOTLAND 33 - 5 RUSSIA; SAMOA 21 - 22 NEW ZEALAND; PORTUGAL 24 - 14 ZIMBABWE; FRANCE 7 - 19 SPAIN; ENGLAND 19 - 12 UNITED STATES; AUSTRALIA 28 - 26 KENYA ; WALES 31 - 5 RUSSIA ; SOUTH AFRICA 19 - 14 SCOTLAND; FIJI 28 - 5 PORTUGAL ; ARGENTINA 19 - 14 ZIMBABWE; NEW ZEALAND 66 - 0 FRANCE; SAMOA 24 - 17 SPAIN ; ENGLAND 40 - 7 KENYA; AUSTRALIA 29 - 14 UNITED STATES; SOUTH AFRICA 17 - 14 RUSSIA; WALES 17 - 14 SCOTLAND; FIJI 40 - 0 ZIMBABWE ; ARGENTINA 17 - 5 PORTUGAL ; NEW ZEALAND 31 - 5 SPAIN; SAMOA 22 - 14 FRANCE.