Key Points:

Fiji again played the role of party poopers at the International Rugby Board (IRB) sevens tournament in Wellington today, whitewashing an outclassed New Zealand 31-0 in the semifinals.

In shades of last year's semifinal between the two great sevens foes, Fiji were a class above the hosts, dominating the physical exchanges and having the edge in speed around the field.

The result was a satisfying one for the Fijians, who lost to New Zealand in the semifinals in the first two IRB tournaments in December.

It was clear that was never going to happen today as the visitors scorched over for five unanswered tries, rarely looking like conceding a try against a New Zealand side who struggled to get their hands on the ball.

"It was an outstanding performance by Fiji, I haven't seen them play like that for a long time," New Zealand coach Gordon Tietjens said.

"They played with a lot of hunger and passion out there, it was an error-free game just about."

Fiji will face Samoa in an all-Pacific island final after the Samoans clung on to beat South Africa 14-12 in the second semifinal.

The elusive Lepani Nabuliwaqa opened the scoring for Fiji with a try after three minutes, ducking under the tackle of Afeleke Pelenise.

Just as the hosts looked to be getting into the game, Fijian magician William Ryder broke their hearts 20 seconds from halftime with an audacious chip and chase from a scrum inside his own half, outpacing Edwin Cocker to score under the crossbar.

Some more acceleration and sleight of hand from Ryder just after halftime sent Simione Saravanua over for a 19-0 lead that was never going to be headed.

Emosi Vucago registered the fourth try with a bump off of the much bigger Pelenise before giant forward Setefano Cakalinivalli galloped over on the fulltime hooter.

New Zealand's chances weren't helped by fielding two key players -- Nigel Hunt and Zar Lawrence -- carrying leg niggles into the game.

They both limped from the field late in the quarterfinal against England.

Forward DJ Forbes was also missing today, having been sidelined since injuring his shoulder in the first pool game against Kenya yesterday.

The teams carried contrasting form into the game.

New Zealand struggled for their best form in pool play and limped to a 14-7 win over England in today's quarterfinal, with a try midway through the second half by captain Tafai Ioasa proving the difference in a tight contest.

By contrast, Fiji romped past Canada 60-0 to follow some imperious displays yesterday.

Fiji are in line to join New Zealand as three-time winners in Wellington if they can beat a gutsy Samoan side, who needed a last-ditch try to quell Kenya 26-21 in their quarterfinal.

Despite losing in the semifinals, New Zealand and South Africa will remain atop the IRB series standings through three rounds, with Fiji closing the gap in third.


Shield Semifinals: Portugal 26 Papua New Guinea 19, Scotland 26 United States 19

Bowl Semifinals: Tonga 29 Cook Islands 7, Argentina 26 Australia 21 (extra time)

Plate Semifinals: England 29 Canada 7, France 26 Kenya 5

Cup Semifinals: Fiji 31 (Lepani Nabuliwaqa, William Ryder, Simione Saravanua, Emosi Vucago, Setefano Cakalinivalli tries; Ryder 3 con) New Zealand 0, Samoa 14 South Africa 12