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‘We want more’: Spain make first-ever SVNS semi-final with win over Fiji

By Finn Morton
Spain celebrate a try at SVNS LAX. Picture: World Rugby.

For the first time ever, the Spanish men’s side has qualified for the Cup semi-finals at a SVNS Series event after surprising Fiji 21-19 at Los Angeles’ Dignity Health Sports Park on Saturday.

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Before this, Spain had played in 11 quarter-finals on the international sevens circuit but had been beaten in every single one. But in their 12th attempt, the Spaniards have made history.

After stunning Ireland 19-14 earlier on Day Two at SVNS LAX, Spain treated the American crowd to another sensational upset with a spot in the Cup semi-finals up for grabs.

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Fiji struck first through Ponepati Loganimasi and ended up running up a 19-nil half-time lead. But a yellow card to Pilipo Bukayaro and a red to Terio Tamani swung the match in Spain’s favour.

Spain were given a revival in the second term with a penalty try, and Pol Pla scored a decisive second-half double. All this happened in the space of three minutes.

Time was up on the clock and Fiji threatened to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but in the end it was Spain’s night. Players were crying tears of joy as they walked up the tunnel after the nail-biting two-point history-making victory.

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But they’re not done yet.

“I am feeling very, very emotional because this group has trained too hard, too much, and the work is paying off,” Spain’s Francisco Cosculluela told RugbyPass.

“We are very happy, very happy.

“We want more, we want more. We want to go to the final, we want to win the semi so we’re not done yet. Not done yet.

“Always dreamed of that and always watching them on the TV when I was little, and now I’m here in LA against them (Fiji) and win the semi-final. Very happy, very happy for the team.”

“First time we’ve got to the semi-finals so it’s history for us,” he added.

“We’re very happy but we want more, we want more.”

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It was a moment that will ripple throughout history as a milestone match for Spanish rugby moving forward. They’ve shown both at SVNS LAX and the season as a whole that they’re not a team to be taken lightly.

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