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One score separated New Zealand and England in their last three meetings and that again proved the case as the Kiwis advanced to the Hamilton sevens semifinals.
New Zealand's tense 19-12 victory, which set up a semifinal against Fiji, was in the balance until the final play. Both teams traded tries but the turning point came when England's Phil Burgess was yellow carded for throwing the ball away after a penalty.
The extra man advantage allowed Scott Curry to skip away and score what proved to be the match-winning try with one minute remaining, though New Zealand still had to force the English into touch 15 metres out from their line to advance.
New Zealand's semifinal against Fiji promises to be similarly tense. Last week in Sydney, Fiji beat New Zealand in their final pool match after a length of the field try on full-time, before Clark Laidlaw's men returned the favour in the playoff for fifth.
In a match which featured countless one-handed offloads and Pacific flair, Fiji were pushed all the way by Gordon Tietjens' Samoa in their Hamilton quarterfinal, emerging on top thanks to a last minute try from Kalione Nasoko.
Fiji are enjoying support on par with New Zealand so expect the stands to be packed come 4.49pm.